New York, New York, USA
1.4 million square feet / 130,000 square meters
The design of 731 Lexington Avenue, a 55-story office and residential tower in Midtown Manhattan, started with a modest program. Midway through schematic design, the client doubled the size of the project. This demanded a new approach to the design of the tower, its location on the block, and its entrance. As a result, the tower grew taller and more slender and was moved from the Third Avenue side of the site to Lexington Avenue. The building rises from a block-long commercial base and is visible from across the East River in Queens, its lighted top softly glowing at night.
The building’s six-story base is distinguished by Beacon Court—a dramatic, mid-block outdoor public space that contains multiple formal entries and a porte-cochere. Elliptical in plan and conical in form, Beacon Court is clad in a structural glass curtain wall supported by an external stainless steel tube and cable system. Initially created to reconcile conflicting programmatic and traffic concerns, Beacon Court evolved into a formal yet inviting urban “room”—an elliptical cone of glass that envelops the visitor.
The upper floors of Beacon Court are the hub of the Bloomberg offices. The mid-block court provides an organizing principle for the new headquarters: The offices surround an energetic atrium—a bustling mixing space for Bloomberg’s 4,000 employees. Workspaces line the perimeter of the building, while television studios, the lobby, and a large snack bar surround the court’s curving glass walls. The space is open and partitions are transparent, showing the round-the-clock activity of the financial media company on the building’s exterior. The design team included graphic designers, product designers, and interior designers who worked within the context of the architecture to create a fully integrated information media space.
Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects worked closely with the developer and tenants to include several sustainable design features. A highly efficient cooling system with a low-temperature, low-flow chiller reduces the operation of energy-burning fans and pumps. The use of glass on the exterior cladding of the building allows daylight to penetrate deep into the interior spaces, reducing the need for artificial light sources. High-performance, low-e glass minimizes solar gain and the demand for cooling.