The odds of survival for nondescript office buildings on prime real estate stretches are slim these days, and architect Norman Foster has been chosen to remedy the bland problem at 425 Park Avenue (between 55th and 56th) with a new office tower (right) due for completion in 2017. Foster, who designed the octagonal Heart Tower, beat out prominent peers Richard Rogers, Zaha Hadid and Rem Koolhaas bidding to reimagine the 55-year-old midtown office space with a relatively straightforward plan for “a tapered steel-frame tower rising to meet three illuminated sheer walls, adding to the vibrant New York City skyline.”
In a flashback to college dorm ling, common areas are what stood out about Foster’s design. “The whole idea of office space is to have places where you can have an intersection of ideas, areas of collaboration,” said David W. Levinson, C.E.O. of L&L Holding Company, which will control the site in 2015. The winning and losing designs will all be presented for public viewing and dissection at the Municipal Arts Society on October 19.