We were asked to remodel the lobby of a building on Manhattan’s Upper East Side. The building dates from 1966 and was featured in the film version of Neil Simon’s The Prisoner of Second Avenue. While Kevin O’Sullivan’s original design had a sense of clarity and quality of materials, the lobby had become worn and dated.
As part of the refurbishment the entrance doors were relocated to provide an improved flow to the space. We also removed items that restricted natural light in the lobby and designed a series of precisely detailed white metal elements that modify both artificial and natural light. These include white powder-coated steel light-shelves above the lift entrances and a matching ‘halo’ that forms the centrepiece of the ceiling, casting light up into a shallow dome. The reception desk was conceived as a small composition of three blocks, each with its own use: white Corian for the desk, teak for storing letters and parcels, and stone-grey Corian for a low plinth to display sculptural objects.
Overall, our approach was to foster a feeling of openness to the lobby emphasised by discreet lighting, sensitive material textures and sculptural set-pieces. A high level of attention to detail was applied throughout. Construction was completed in 2016.
Photographs by Christopher Payne.