575 Madison Avenue

An inviting, transparent entryway and interior space, dominated by both white and black reflective glass, warm walnut, and contemporary strip lighting, evokes a lightness of being and optimism. Previously, the entry of the 70-year-old building was dominated by heavy stainless steel, and the lobby space was dressed in dark granites and marbles, making it uninviting and tunnel-like.

Amenta Emma Architects designed a concept dominated by the extensive use of back-painted glass to make the 2,000 square-foot space feel larger, its volume lifted. Designers said owners wanted something that did not exist before, so they investigated ways of putting materials together in unique ways.

The effect is immediate from the street, where the heavy stainless above the revolving doors has been replaced by a 9-foot-tall by 17-foot-6-inch-long glass surround. At night, the entry appears to float. Walnut strips and linear LED lights pull the eye from the street to the back of the space, uniting two elevator lobbies. The glass walls, weighing more than 800 pounds per panel, contribute to the feeling of greater volume. Toe-kick lights around the low perimeter of the floor enhance the effect of floating glass. Terrazzo joints align the vertical joints of the glass.

The security desk was pulled more prominently into the space, crowned with a custom light fixture. Glass walls showcase a curated, changing art gallery, featuring local and emerging artists, to create interest for tenants by provoking thought and conversation.


AIA Connecticut Design Awards – Interiors – Merit Award

Location: New York, NY
Size: 2,000 sf
Status: Completed 2020

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