Snohetta carries out renovations on Phillip Johnson’s Chippendale constructing

Ali Topan

Structure studio Snøhetta has carried out a sequence of renovations to the postmodern 550 Madison skyscraper, which was previously often known as the AT&T constructing.

Snøhetta opened up among the facades, added a public backyard and improved air flow and elevation techniques as a part of the conversion of the 647-foot-high (197-metre) skyscraper from a single-occupant tower into an workplace for a number of occupants.

Chippendale new lobby Gensler
High: The crest of 550 Madison. Photograph by Alex Fradkin. Above: Snøhetta labored with inside designers from Gensler to renovate Philip Jonhson’s 550 Madison foyer. Photograph by Fred Charles

Snøhetta founding companion Craig Dykers advised Dezeen that the method to constructing was “surgical”, with the vast majority of the interventions occurring on the within, which allowed the studio to open up facets of the outside.

“Oftentimes had been requested to take a look at buildings or locations which have stopped having worth to individuals,” he mentioned.

“Nobody had occupied it for therefore lengthy that it wanted a well being evaluation in a method. It wanted contemporary air. It wanted daylight and wanted spaciousness given to its tenants and wanted entry to nature, all of these items to convey it again to the glory that it had at one time.”

Large window in Chippendale building renovation
New home windows and an intensive out of doors backyard had been added. Photograph by Barrett Doherty

Now known as 550 Madison, the granite-clad skyscraper designed by Philip Johnson and John Burgee was nicknamed the “Chippendale” constructing when it opened in 1984 due to the pediment that resembles furnishings by the well-known American producer of the identical title.

Initially constructed for American telecommunications firm AT&T, and often known as the AT&T constructing, the skyscraper was later occupied by Sony after which sat vacant for various years earlier than being acquired by international funding agency The Olayan Group. 

Chippendale building garden adjacent
The backyard has a big glass cover. Photograph by Barrett Doherty

In 2017, Snøhetta unveiled its plan to reconfigure the facade of the decrease parts of the constructing, however the plan was nixed by the town authorities, which gave the constructing landmark standing after protests from native communities.

The realised renovation aimed to respect the modified standing by scaling again interventions to the facade. Solely a small portion of the unique stone was eliminated with a view to create a window block for the brand new facilities ground and it was reused to restore stone in different areas.

Garden aerial view
The renovations open up area for the general public. Photograph by Barrett Doherty

In response to Dykers, the primary aim was to open up the areas on the base of the tower to be extra public-facing and to revamp the storefronts on avenue stage.

“The decrease stage of the constructing was difficult,” he mentioned. “Phillip Johnson mentioned the identical factor. He actually criticized his personal constructing.”

“It is an amazing constructing,” he continued. “I nonetheless actually prefer it, and I’ve at all times loved it, and I really feel like I prefer it much more now which you can benefit from the decrease ranges of the constructing.”

Round window in Chippendale interior
An up to date mechanical system allowed for inside area to be cleared. Photograph of Rockwell Group inside by Nikolas Koenig

“There was a variety of dialogue about how a lot glass we had been going to placed on the constructing and that brought on some controversy” added Dykers. “However what was necessary was that we discovered a approach to convey mild into these amenity areas,” he continued.

“So we have added glass to the west aspect of the constructing overlooking the gardens under and made the area a bit extra related to the outside than it was beforehand that stage had little or no daylight.”

Rockwell Group interior in Chippendale Building
Rockwell Group up to date the facilities stage. Photograph of Rockwell Group inside by Nikolas Koenig

In an effort to open up the areas at floor stage, Snøhetta moved an elevator core to create “unbroken” views from Madison Avenue, by way of the foyer and into the general public gardens.

The backyard is manufactured from a redesigned mid-block passageway. Snøhetta added a water function and a glass cover to the area.

“Our design for the brand new backyard transforms the streets surrounding the long-lasting 550 Madison constructing into an accessible, lavishly vegetated, and extremely seen public area,” mentioned Snøhetta companion Michelle Delk, who was chargeable for the panorama structure.

The studio additionally modified the air flow system to supply higher air high quality and use much less vitality and to open up extra inside areas that had been beforehand occupied by mechanical components.

The system additionally allowed for among the portholes of the constructing that had been used within the air flow system to be opened up and transformed into home windows.

“It is a greener system in that sense,” Dykers advised Dezeen. “But in addition we had been capable of repurpose 1000’s of sq. toes of area that had been devoted to mechanical area.”

Rockwell Group interior for Chippendale building
The constructing was transformed for use by a number of firms. Photograph by Rockwell Group inside by Nikolas Koenig

Eradicating the outdated system additionally allowed the studio to create extra top within the porticos and workplace areas. Whereas the tenants are allowed to make adjustments to the person areas, Snøhetta insisted that marble staircases on the higher ranges be retained.

American structure studio Gensler was in command of redesigning the foyer, which incorporates new terrazzo flooring and a dangling sculpture by Polish artist Alicja Kwade. New York design studio Rockwell Group carried out the inside design for the facilities stage.

Snøhetta was based in Oslo, Norway and is formally based mostly there and in New York. The studio has launched various renovations of landmarks together with the 2017 renovation of Occasions Sq. in addition to the conversion of an industrial web site into a spot for the Oslo Opera Home.

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