STUDIOS Architecture

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.'

STUDIOS Architecture

Completion Date: May 2009

Total construction cost: Confidential

Gross square footage: 859,102 sq.ft.


Owner: L&L Holding Company LLC

STUDIOS Architecture

Personnel in architect's firm who should receive special credit:
Todd DeGarmo, FAIA, LEED AP, Principal-in-charge

David Burns, Design Principal
David Must, AIA, LEED AP, Project Manager
Graham Clegg, AIA, Project Architect

Architect of record:
STUDIOS Architecture

Interior designer:
STUDIOS Architecture

MEP Engineers: FMC Associates

Structural Engineers: Thornton Tomasetti

Geotechnical Engineer: Langan Engineering and Environmental Services, Inc.

Landscape: Landworks Studio, Inc.

Lighting: Johnson Light Studio, LLC & Kugler Ning Lighting Design, Inc.

Acoustical: Cerami & Associates

Project Manager: Gardiner & Theobald

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)

Nikolas Koenig

STUDIOS Architecture

CAD system, project management, or other software used:



Structural system

Exterior cladding
Glass curtain wall:
Unitized Curtain Wall Fabricator: Alumicor Limited
Exterior Insulated Glass: PPG

Specialty Tensile Glass at Entry:
Tensile fittings: Tri-Pryamid
Laminated Structural Glass: St. Gobain

Terra Cotta Cladding: NBK Terra Cotta

Other cladding unique to this project:
Ornamental Metal Fabricator: A-Val Architectural Metal

ATAS Metal wall Panels

Built-up roofing:
Epoxy Resinous Roofing: KEMPER

Metal frame:
Exterior Window Replacements: TRACO

Blumcraft of Pittsburgh


Exit devices:
Blumcraft of Pittsburgh

Interior finishes
Lobby Wall coverings:
Stone elevator cladding: Novelda Crema (Turkey)

Solid surfacing:
Ornamental Metal Fabricator: A-Val Architectural Metal

Lobby Floor:
Epoxy Terrazzo: D Magnan & Co, Inc

Specialty Metal Screen:
GKD Metal Fabrics

Lobby Millwork:
Security Desk:
RIMI Woodcraft

Exterior furniture:
Concrete Benches, Pavers, and Planters, accessories: Concreteworks East

Specialty lighting:
Specialty Pendant Lighting: Phoster Industries

Specialty lighting:
Specialty Elevator Indicator Lighting: 3G Lighting

Dimming System or other lighting controls:
Lighting Control System: Lutron

Cab Rehabilitation: National Cab

Water Saving Features Based on LEED 2.0 Including Toto and American Standard

Building automation system:
BMS by Automated Logic

Other unique products that contribute to sustainability:
Rooftop Irrigation Water collection for use in courtyard landscaping.