The 425 Park Architecture Competition – New York Design Agenda


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The 425 Park Architecture Competition
The 425 Park Architecture Competition

Last October, Foster + Partners was named the winner of The 425 Park Architecture Competition. In May 2012, L&L Holding Company invited eleven world-class architects to submit Request for Qualifications. Four finalists – Foster + Partners (Lord Norman Foster), Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners (Lord Richard Rogers), OMA (Rem Koolhaas), and Zaha Hadid Architects – were selected to create and present conceptual designs for 425 Park Avenue in July 2012.

 Zaha Hadid Architects

Zaha Hadid Architecture

Height: 669 ft
Stories: 40
Floorplate: 12,000–27,400 gsf
Ceiling Height: 14–65 ft


The design challenge for 425 Park Avenue lies in producing a structure of timeless elegance, yet with a strong identity that reflects the complex and sophisticated age in which it was created and mirrors the exceptional setting in which it is placed. Our approach has been to unite the four fundamental qualities for the project  – Function, Design, Culture and Value  – and fuse them into a single seamless design which incorporates these characteristics in a harmonious and unified architectural concept.

With its breezy views up and down Park Avenue and breath-taking vistas of Central Park, the new building is quintessentially “New York” in its very definition. Its sleek verticality breathes the very essence of the city, while its gentle curves evoke a new dynamism of form which is both distinctly contemporary and ageless. This harmony is equally reflected in the building’s openness, flexible design and technological efficiency, providing an adaptable architectural context that allows it to accommodate its tenants’ requirements and desires.

Together, these qualities make the new 425 Park Avenue a unique landmark for New York City.

– Zaha Hadid Architects



OMA Architecture

Height: 648 ft
Stories: 38
Floorplate: 10,100–21,200 gsf
Ceiling Height: 14.5–29 ft

For Commercial Buildings, Manhattan’s zoning laws prescribe a silhouette from which there is no escape (yet): a stretched pyramid.
Our current aesthetics oscillate between nearly exhausted orthogonality and a still immature curvaceousness.

Our building is an intersection of these two observations: it proposes a stack of three cubes —the lower one a full solid block on Park Avenue, the smallest on top, rotated 45 degrees vis-a-vis the Manhattan grid, oriented beyond its mere location in a sweep from Midtown to Central Park.

The three cubes are connected by curved planes to create a subtle alternation of flat and 3 dimensional places, each reflecting sky and city in their own way.
The shape is at the same time highly artistic and highly efficient, a diagram of maximum beauty and maximum rentability, combined in a single, Brancusi-like shape. Its geometry at the same time reinforces and escapes the existing city. It resonates with each of its famous neighbors – Seagram, Lever, AT&T, Racquet Club – yet it is emphatically futuristic.
– Rem Koolhaas

Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners


Height: 665 ft
Stories: 44
Floorplate: 6,000–20,300 gsf
Ceiling Height: 14.5–72.5 ft

We have created a contemporary homage to the quintessential New York skyscraper, by designing a tower that will define the next chapter in their illustrious story. Our solution acknowledges the design attributes of its neighbours on Park Avenue, but brings new qualities: honest expression; generosity; efficiency and humanity. The clear expression of the process of construction is evident from the huge 43 storey steel frame down to the smallest detail, this gives the building a human scale.

In designing sky gardens, we are reconnecting workers and the city with nature, by using different American landscape ecologies, from forest to alpine, to suit the different altitudes of each garden. These spaces also offer great views of the park and the metropolis.

A generous open space at ground level gives users and passing public a retreat from the urban bustle. The exterior glass elevators create both a dynamism and an extremely flexible interior.
It is a tower that works both at the skyline and the street line, has a unique rhythm, and sets a new architectural bench mark for both Park Avenue and the great American skyscraper.
Lord Richard Rogers


And the winner,

Foster + Partners



Height: 687 ft
Stories: 41
Floorplate: 11,200–24,400 gsf
Ceiling Height: 14–42 ft

Our aim is to create an exceptional building, both of its time and timeless, as well as being respectful of its context and celebrated Modernist neighbours – a tower that is for the City and for the people that will work in it, setting a new standard for office design and providing an enduring landmark that befits its world-famous location.

Clearly expressing the geometry of its structure, the tapered steel-frame tower rises to meet three shear walls that will be illuminated, adding to the vibrant New York City skyline. Its elegant facade seamlessly integrates with an innovative internal arrangement that allows for three gradated tiers of column-free floors. Offering world-class, sustainable office accommodation, the new building anticipates changing needs in the workplace with large, flexible open floor plates. Each of the three tiers – low, medium and high-rise – is defined by a landscaped terrace with panoramic views across Manhattan and Central Park. To maximize the Park Avenue frontage, the core is placed to the rear, where glazed stairwells reveal long views towards the East River, while at street level, there is potential for a large civic plaza with significant works of art.

– Lord Norman Foster

Construction for the new office tower is expected to start in 2015 and complete by the end of 2017.

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