Snøhetta has been commissioned to reimagine the 1980’s postmodern tower located at 550 Madison Avenue.
While the recognizable top of the tower will remain a fixture of the New York City skyline as it has since its completion in 1984, the new design will transform the base into an inviting street front, extending the lively activity of Madison Avenue further south to 55th Street. Moreover, the adjacent public space will nearly double in size to create a lush outdoor garden for the public’s enjoyment.
Snøhetta’s design will update the building with state-of-art systems and breathe new life into the building’s public, retail and office spaces for the contemporary needs of one of the world’s most recognized avenues.
Completed in 1984, 550 Madison, formerly known as the AT&T Building and then the Sony Building, was originally designed by Philip Johnson for single-tenant occupancy, serving as the eponymous world headquarters for its corporate owners.
The building’s redesign modernizes interior spaces to meet the contemporary needs of a variety of office tenants and adds high-quality amenities, world-class retail and restaurants.
Snøhetta’s design approach stitches the life of the building back into the street.
Since 550 Madison was first completed, its fortress-like base created an uninviting street front, which was then further compromised by a series of ground-floor renovations that effectively closed the building off from its surroundings. With the updated design, the stone façade will be partially replaced at eye level by an undulating glass curtainwall.
From the street, the reconceived façade dramatically highlights the multi-story arched entry while revealing the craftsmanship of the building’s existing steel structure.
Photo credits: Snøhetta.