MdeAS, RXR Team Up on 237 Park Transformation
Steps away from New York City’s iconic Grand Central Station, 237 Park is undergoing a dramatic transformation, set to reposition the property as a future-forward asset in midtown Manhattan and enhance the tenant and pedestrian experience. Through a revitalized lobby, atrium and outdoor passageway, award-winning architecture and design firm MdeAS (www.mdeas.com) is leveraging the location and original design to maximum potential.
“We’re reestablishing the building’s strengths,” says Dan Shannon, principal at MdeAS. “And we’re proud to be remaking the space in a way that encourages activity and ease of pedestrian passage.”
The firm’s work — part of a $50 million investment by owners RXR and Walton Street Capital — concentrates on creating a “useful, active, successful interior space,” accentuating the open-plan architecture, increasing visibility on Park Avenue and redeveloping a key commuter corridor to Grand Central Station. To that end, elements have been streamlined, modernized and brightened.
Reconfigured entrances allow for continuous traffic flow through the full-block building, bounded by Lexington and Park Avenues and East 45th and 46th Streets. The restructured floor plan has created an expanse of dramatic retail space, as well an innovative conference center and meeting room amenity offered through Convene, providing meeting space, state of the art technology and culinary services.
The light-infused, 15,000-sq.-ft. lobby features an Oconee White granite floor and Moca Crème limestone walls with Blu Masaccio marble accents. Two 60-ft.-by-20-ft. sculptural wood panels — a soaring focal point that cleverly masks the elevator shafts through five stories — anchor the space under a 21-story, glass-enclosed atrium. The voluminous, open well is balanced out by a 67-ft.-by-54-ft. trellised lay light six floors up, which MdeAS devised to give a sense of enclosure without inhibiting natural light or ventilation.
To enhance the airy impact of the light well throughout the building, as well as improve office sight lines across the atrium, reflective stainless steel interior spandrel panels have been retrofitted with matte white finishes.
“It’s a distinctive building in the middle of Manhattan on Park Avenue in which nearly everyone can work close to natural light, which inherently promotes the kind of use clients are looking for now,” Shannon says. “This redesign helps create a more peaceful, elegant, contemporary space.”
The renovations, scheduled for completion in February 2016, also include maximizing Park Avenue access by opening up the northwest corner of the building with an expansive canopied entrance. This leads into an updated pedestrian passageway on Depew Place with refreshed retail opportunities in the protected, car-free zone.
MdeAS and RXR collaborated previously on the successful lobby renovations and redevelopments of 620 Avenue of the Americas and 1330 Avenue of the Americas.
237 Park was originally built in 1905 by Warren & Wetmore as a six-story building. Ten stories were added in 1935, and architect Edward Durell Stone & Associates brought the building to 21 floors in 1981.