Gensler New York has revealed designs for a 200,000-square-foot renovation of the recently landmarked 601 Lexington Avenue, commonly known by its former title, Citicorp Center. The plans will update the entry plaza as well as add a new atrium space housing a range of dining and retail options, giving the site a rejuvenated space for the entire neighborhood to utilize.
The project will be the biggest change to the unique building since its construction in 1977 and famed engineering crisis the following year.
“Gensler’s design was driven by the desire to create a destination. We wanted to redevelop this prominent public space to be truly approachable, creating an amenity for both the tenants and the community,” Gensler Principal Joseph Lauro told ArchDaily.
The project, approved by the Landmarks Preservation Commission last week, will result in the demolition of the existing Hideo Sasaki-designed fountain, which has caused some concern amongst preservationists.
“While the original design of the public plaza and atrium was striking, the spaces were not inviting to public and lacked connectivity,” explained Lauro on Gensler’s design approach. “We believe our design will bring vibrancy to the Midtown East neighborhood by seamlessly integrating these public amenities while respecting the iconic architecture.”
Previous changes to the building include a lobby renovation in 2010, and a renovation of the open-air concourse and existing atrium 20 years ago.
In a city of skyscrapers of nearly every shape and size, the Citigroup Center on Lexington Avenue is one of New York's most unique. Resting on four stilts perfectly centered on each side, it cantilevers seventy-two feet over the sidewalk and features a trademark 45-degree sloping crown at its summit.