Yesterday, 14 September 2020, Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates (KPF) and developers SL Green and Hines celebrated the opening of One Vanderbilt with a ribbon cutting ceremony attended by New York City government officials and public figures. Reaching 1,401 feet (427 meters) in height, One Vanderbilt is among the tallest office towers in Midtown Manhattan, and transforms the civic experience of the Grand Central district, layering its architectural language and meeting market demands for cutting-edge, contemporary office space. Expected to achieve LEED and WELL certifications, One Vanderbilt offers 1.7 million square feet (158,000 square meters) of Class-A office space, featuring column-free expanses and stunning views through floor-to-ceiling windows. A 30,000 square-foot (2,800 square meter) amenity floor with outdoor garden terraces, as well as world-class dining headed by Michelin star-rated chef Daniel Boulud, will round out the building’s offerings.
One Vanderbilt blends private enterprise and the public realm with its unique design. An integrated complex of below-grade conditions offers direct connections to Grand Central and an active, 14,000-square-foot (1,300 square meter) pedestrian plaza on Vanderbilt Avenue. By 2022, the tower will also fully integrate the new plan for East Side Access, which extends Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) service to Grand Central. Filling an entire city block between 42nd and 43rd Streets along Madison and Vanderbilt Avenues, the tower is part of the spatial sequence of the terminal and a doorstep to the city, greeting thousands of commuters daily.
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Following the layered architectural language of neighboring New York City icons, One Vanderbilt joins the Chrysler Building and Empire State Building to define the city’s renowned skyline. Formally, One Vanderbilt’s massing comprises four interlocking and tapering volumes that spiral toward the sky, an elegant shape in sympathetic proportion to these iconic neighbors. At the tower’s base, a series of angled cuts organize a visual procession to Grand Central. They reveal the Vanderbilt corner of the terminal’s magnificent cornice – a view that has been obstructed for nearly a century.
“The materials of the building reinforce a Manhattan DNA,” says Jeffrey Kenoff, KPF Design Principal. “The authenticity and quality of these details are not only critical to their relationship within the tower itself, but also to the neighboring buildings including Grand Central and the Chrysler Building. This includes the custom glazed terra-cotta facade and soffits and the bronze podium framing, as well as the main lobby’s bronze “art wall” installation and hammered desk marking the arrival.”
“Maintaining the fast-tracked schedule to design and deliver One Vanderbilt was perhaps one of the biggest challenges,” says Andrew Cleary, KPF Technical Director. “The fact that a project of this complexity has repeatedly achieved all the major construction milestones on time is a clear testament to the tight collaboration that the design and construction teams forged from the outset of the design process.”
For more on this story, go to kpf.com.