Brightening and Repositioning an Aging Asset: 390 Madison Avenue, New York City

Session: F: Best Tall Building Award By Function: Residential/Hotel, Part 2 & Renovation Award

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Presenter to be confirmed
Senior Representative, L&L Holding Company

Presenter to be confirmed
Senior Representative, Kohn Pederson Fox Associates

This project efficiently converted an outmoded 1953 office building into a Class-A property fit for contemporary tenants, with activated public spaces, integrated retail and restaurant options, dynamic architecture, and state-of-the-art technology. Because the building was overbuilt, as per zoning regulations passed in 1961, the design re-masses the building to maintain current gross floor area (GFA) allowances.

A preliminary analysis identified certain locations in the building—including areas compromised by low floor-to-ceiling heights or an unfavorable column grid—that were suitable for moving elsewhere. Based on that massing concept, the final design carved out sections of existing floor slabs and redistributed the excised floor area in the form of eight new stories atop the existing structure, providing the building with valuable new height and views, and a more balanced distribution of floor plate sizes throughout. In all, 77 percent of the original structure was reused.

The new building massing also necessitated adding a lateral system, which did not previously exist. This lateral system—visible in the form of structural bracing on the exteriors—not only improves the building structurally, but also adds to its architectural character. In concert with the high ceilings, the previous dark and dated façade was removed, and new energy-efficient curtain walls put in its place, pulling more light into the structure. The building is also outfitted with new roofs and new cores, including new elevators and MEP equipment. New double-height retail spaces and a reconfigured southeast corner that open up the sidewalk to pedestrians.

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