Developers bring lobbies back to limelight

A rendering of the lobby at One Bryant Park
A rendering of the lobby at One Bryant Park

Office lobbies, seen in recent times by New York City architects as an afterthought, are making a design comeback as landlords such as Vornado Realty Trust and the Durst Organization recognize the value of creating a powerful first impression on prospective tenants.

To be sure, the city is home to magnificent lobbies such as those at the Woolworth Building and the Chrysler Building. But in later years, the “importance of design was forgotten except in the premier buildings like Seagram,” Andrew Dolkart, a professor at the Columbia University Graduate School of Architecture, told the Wall Street Journal.

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Now, with projects such as Vornado’s 1290 Avenue of the Americas, lobby design is coming back into the limelight, according to Dan Shannon, a principal at Moed de Armas & Shannon Architects, which specializes in lobby design and is in charge of the Vornado project.

And the lobby is also becoming a point of pride in new development projects such as the Durst Organization’s One Bryant Park and Silverstein Properties’ 4 World Trade Center, according to the newspaper. At 4 World Trade Center for example, Pritzker Prize-winning architect Fumihiko Maki has designed a two-floor glass atrium leading to three wood-lined corridors showcasing video art.

Post the financial crisis, residential condominium developers have paid greater attention to lobbies, as The Real Deal reported. [WSJ]Hiten Samtani