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550 Madison, Snøhetta

Pocket Garden in Midtown: 550 Madison by Snøhetta

In the tradition of urban pocket parks, Snøhetta will rework the exterior spaces of 550 Madison Avenue, owned by the Olayan Group, into a landscaped outdoor area. According to Michelle Delk, Partner and Director of Landscape Architecture at Snøhetta, privately owned public spaces (POPS) form a decisive part of New York City. The 550 Madison project will represent an attempt to expand the role played by existing POPS in the context of the densely built-up East Midtown district with just a few open-air spaces and recreational areas.

The garden will open up the public space along the western end of the tower, developing into a geometric sequence of circular outdoor areas that give a nod to Philip Johnson’s playful treatment of circle motifs. In the conceptual style of the “canyon-like verticality” of Midtown Manhattan, a green topography will rise along the west side as a direct connection to the surrounding street life.

Selected flora and many species of fauna will create a habitat that responds to the changing seasons and natural lighting conditions. A central water wall, which will be visible from the renovated indoor lobby, will reduce disruptive noise from the city.

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Further information:

Design Architect and Landscape Architect: Snøhetta
Architect of Record: AAI
Landscape Architect of Record: SiteWorks
Horticulturalist: Phyto

Development Team: The Olayan Group, RXR Realty, Chelsfield

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DETAIL 9/2020
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