560 Lexington Avenue

560 Lexington Avenue

Architect
Skidmore, Owings & Merrill
Location
New York, United States | View Map
Project Year
2015
Category
Offices

560 Lexington Avenue

Skidmore, Owings & Merrill as Architects

SOM’s design of the subway entrance at 560 Lexington Avenue is part of a larger renovation of the office tower lobby and its surrounding plaza. Constructed in the 1980s, this Privately Owned Public Space (POPS) was originally characterized by dark brick and bronze-colored metal panels and framing. The subway entrance, surrounded by an enclosure composed of the same dark materials, was secured at night by an industrial roll-down gate, obstructing views throughout the plaza. Because of the plaza’s status as a Privately Owned Public Space—permitting a higher Floor Area Ratio (FAR) on site—SOM worked with New York City Planning to ensure the renovation’s design and amenities met public needs. SOM integrated benches into the subway enclosure and framed the plaza’s two “Brick Relief” murals with light-colored limestone, resulting in an enlivened public space. The design for the new plaza and subway entrance sought to brighten the space with a lighter palette of limestone and white granite, and create visibility and openness throughout the plaza with a glass and steel enclosure. The curvilinear and highly-transparent enclosure around subway entrance is a feature in itself, welcoming visitors into the plaza, the renovated lobby beyond, and the New York Public Library and subway below.


The curved glass of the enclosure is self-supporting, eliminating the need for any vertical mullions, which would obstruct views, and enhancing the sculptural quality of the entrance. The metal and glass enclosure exists as both a feature in the plaza and a solution to the security needs of the subway entrance. The entrance door to the subway was designed as a glass swing gate and engineered to nest in the curvilinear, concave form of the glass enclosure. When the door is open, signage elements direct visitors to the mezzanine and subway levels below. When the subway is closed at night, the enclosure remains a beautiful element that sits quietly in the plaza, while securing the entrance. Below the glass enclosure, the design language of the entrance’s geometry continues with curved limestone walls and glass guardrails, inviting pedestrians to the entrance of the New York Public Library and the subway turnstiles beyond. In total, new materials and lighting in the plaza create a bright, fresh and reimagined public amenity. Both the new LED lighting integrated into the ceiling panels and the abundance of natural light at the subway entrance invite visitors to enjoy the reinvigorated public space. Together, the new glass and metal storefronts of the building lobby and adjacent retail, and the new curvilinear subway enclosure increase visibility and comfort in the plaza at 560 Lexington Avenue.


Featured Projects
Latest Products
News
Naso refurbishes an exemplary modernist structure as a hub for art and sustainable dining
27 Sep 2022 News
Naso refurbishes an exemplary modernist structure as a hub for art and sustainable dining

Located in the heart of Bosque de Chapultepec in Mexico City, Lago/Algo is a cultural hub managed an... More

Perkins&Will complete innovative São Paulo residential project inspired by Oscar Niemeyer and the Brazilian modernist movement
27 Sep 2022 News
Perkins&Will complete innovative São Paulo residential project inspired by Oscar Niemeyer and the Brazilian modernist movement

In São Paulo, global studio Perkins&Will have completed a impressive residential project... More

ACB living by Lighthouse is a dynamic Co-working space that activates the urban fabric
26 Sep 2022 News
ACB living by Lighthouse is a dynamic Co-working space that activates the urban fabric

Set within the small island town of Iki in the Nagasaki prefecture, Japanese firm Lighthouse designe... More

Forest House by Inblum Architects reflects the local spirit of the Lithuanian landscape
26 Sep 2022 News
Forest House by Inblum Architects reflects the local spirit of the Lithuanian landscape

Reflecting the local spirit and context, this reconstructed residential house in Lithuania’s P... More

Gravity vanishes and the unexpected emerges at new wellbeing extension by noa* network of architecture
26 Sep 2022 News
Gravity vanishes and the unexpected emerges at new wellbeing extension by noa* network of architecture

Following completion of their iconic cantilevered pool project in Hubertus, Olang, in 2016, noa* net... More

10 hotels with impressive sunbeds for a relaxing holiday
24 Sep 2022 News
10 hotels with impressive sunbeds for a relaxing holiday

Pools, daybeds and lounges make up the focal point for most hotels in summer destinations. The pool... More

Vibrant vistas and seamless edges define this pre-primary school in Gokak, India
22 Sep 2022 News
Vibrant vistas and seamless edges define this pre-primary school in Gokak, India

Built on a triangular-shaped piece of land in an existing educational campus in Gokak, Shreyas Patil... More

Along Romania’s Bistrita River, a new fish restaurant concept sits in subtle tandem with nature
22 Sep 2022 News
Along Romania’s Bistrita River, a new fish restaurant concept sits in subtle tandem with nature

Located in a context lacking strong visual elements, LOTCA by yellow office architecture is a new fi... More