200 Fifth Avenue
New York City
An original 1909 marketing brochure, found during the renovation of 200 Fifth Avenue, touts the white terra-cotta cladding on a wall surrounding the courtyard as a reflective surface that would bring daylight into the heart of the workspaces within. Along with STUDIOS Architecture's bold design, that 100-year-old brochure helped convince New York's Landmarks Preservation Commission that replacing the terra-cotta wall with a glass curtain wall would respect the original architects' intentions. The change was allowed, and STUDIOS transformed the aging 14-floor edifice into a LEED Gold Certified, Class-A office building. 'They used the latest technology from their day, and we're using ours,' says David Levinson, chairman and CEO of L&L Holding Company, the project's developer. Serving as the International Toy Center for over half a century, what once was a warren of showrooms for thousands of small toy companies is now a sleek, 650,000-square-foot mixed-use property'complete with a restored Neo-Renaissance facade'that maintains the character of the building and boosts its value. Tenants such as Grey Global advertising and marketing, the Tiffany & Co. headquarters, and Mario Batali's Eataly Italian market and restaurants pay upwards of three times more per square foot than previous occupants.
Grey Global, the building's major tenant, now occupies a new four-story addition at the rear of the courtyard. Once underused, the gracious courtyard boasts a vertical garden that brings the outdoors into the building. A pristine, minimalist lobby beckons visitors, while a new 18-foot-wide landing west of the elevator core offers efficient circulation.
Sustainable features include a rainwater recovery system, green and reflective roof surfaces, the use of certified wood, and an abundance of daylight throughout the interior.
'We took the idea of bringing a garden inside, while respecting what was there,' explains STUDIOS design principal David Burns. 'Not everything that is original is precious, but the spirit of what was intended remains.'
Completion Date: May 2009
Total construction cost: Confidential
Gross square footage: 859,102 sq.ft.
Owner: L&L Holding Company LLC
Personnel in architect's firm who should receive special credit:
David Burns, Design Principal
Architect of record:
Geotechnical Engineer: Langan Engineering and Environmental Services, Inc.
Lighting: Johnson Light Studio, LLC & Kugler Ning Lighting Design, Inc.
Acoustical: Cerami & Associates
LEED Consultant: CodeGreen
Preservation Consultant: Higgins Quasebarth & Partners LLC
Façade Restoration: Thornton Tomasetti
Elevator Consultant: MJR Elevator Consulting Group
General contractor: Structure Tone Inc. (Construction Manager)
CAD system, project management, or other software used:
Specialty Tensile Glass at Entry:
Other cladding unique to this project:
Specialty Metal Screen:
Dimming System or other lighting controls:
Other unique products that contribute to sustainability: