Tallest Office Tower in Midtown Manhattan Tops Out

Tallest Office Tower in Midtown Manhattan Tops Out

Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates (KPF) have designed One Vanderbilt the soon to be tallest contemporary office facility in Midtown Manhattan, at 427 meters in height. The tower’s spire was recently raised and upon its completion, the building will offer a new type of experience in the Grand Central District.

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As One Vanderbilt reaches its full height, its slender, crystalline profile assumes a prominent place on the New York skyline, […] the same angled geometries translate to the base of the tower, gesturing with generosity to the great landmark of Grand Central Terminal. KPF is proud to have led the design effort, which arose from the collaborative efforts of our studio, SL Green, Hines, and the NYC Department of City Planning. -- James von Klemperer, KPF President and Design Principal.


Located between 42nd and 43rd streets along Madison and Vanderbilt Avenues, the tower will become a doorstep to the city. One Vanderbilt is composed of four interlocking volumes that spiral toward the sky, in proportion with the skyline of the city and the nearby Chrysler and Empire State Buildings. A series of angled cuts on the ground floor generate a visual connection to Grand Central, creating a direct network and an active pedestrian plaza on Vanderbilt Avenue. The proposal is actually expected to integrate the “new plan for East Side Access, which extends Long Island Rail Road service to Grand Central”, by 2022.


As a new hub of Midtown, One Vanderbilt will facilitate GCT commuting patterns by providing additional direct access to all levels of below grade transit that feed or will feed into Grand Central in the future, […] As its unique form enhances the experience of the New York skyline, so too does KPF’s design craft a ground plane experience that welcomes thousands of commuters, becoming a hallmark of transit-oriented design for our dense, bustling city. -- Dominic Dunn, KPF Managing Principal.

© Raimund Koch

Expected to achieve LEED and WELL certifications, the building offers a diverse program merging the private and public sectors and generating office spaces across 58 floors. According to Jeffrey Kenoff, KPF Design Principal, One Vanderbilt echoes Guastavino’s timeless terracotta detailing in Grand Central. Moreover, for the tower’s façade, “the design team explored and tested combinations of over 300 glazes and profiles to ensure that the wall would respond generously to the Midtown skyline as well as to the varying light conditions it would encounter”, adds Kenoff.

© Liane Curtis

Maintaining the fast-tracked schedule to design and deliver One Vanderbilt was perhaps one of the biggest challenges, […] the fact that a project of this complexity has repeatedly achieved all the major construction milestones on time is a clear testament to the tight collaboration that the design and construction teams forged from the outset of the design process. -- Andrew Cleary, KPF Technical Director.

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Cite: Christele Harrouk. "Tallest Office Tower in Midtown Manhattan Tops Out" 23 Sep 2019. ArchDaily. Accessed . <https://www.archdaily.com/925267/tallest-office-tower-in-midtown-manhattan-tops-out> ISSN 0719-8884



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