Following the NYC Landmarks Preservation Commission’s designation of 550 Madison as an Individual Landmark in July, the ownership team has worked with architect and landscape architect Snøhetta to preserve the iconic tower while providing modern upgrades and revitalizing the surrounding public space.
The updated design retains 550 Madison’s distinguishing architectural features, creates an iconic Class A office destination for future tenants, and realizes the original vision for 550 Madison of Johnson and Burgee for a high level of public amenities for the East Midtown neighborhood. Snøhetta’s design for the rear of the building (west side) would provide the community with a vibrant green space that will be 50% larger than the current public space.
Snøhetta’s updated design will preserve and revitalize the landmark tower, undo past renovations that compromised the original design intent, and reconceive 550 Madison’s public spaces. The tower’s exterior will remain 94% unchanged. A reimagined public open space will finally deliver on the true public amenity that Philip Johnson envisioned, creating a visual and sensory retreat in the heart of East Midtown. The upper portions of the existing four-story annex, the altered glass roof, and side street enclosures that were added during the 1990s will be removed, creating an expansive, open and inviting public garden. The East Midtown community sits last among Manhattan community districts with regards to the amount of public open space it offers. Through Snøhetta’s design, the renovated public open space at 550 Madison will become the largest privately-owned covered pedestrian space within a five-minute walk of the building.
The ownership team is led by The Olayan Group with development partners RXR Realty and Chelsfield.