STUDIOS was retained by Ruben Companies to re-envision the entry and lobby experience at One Dag Hammarskjold Plaza, a 50-story Emory Roth skyscraper on Second Avenue and East 47th Street. The lobby had not been significantly updated or changed since 1972.
By simplifying the number of design gestures from the original design, STUDIOS unified the experience of moving from one end of the space to the other. At each entry, a bronze, solid-panel wall welcomes building visitors and then slowly dematerializes as the make their way to the elevator banks. As the wall opens up, it translates into a series of individual twisted fins, resulting in a dramatic, rhythmic experience. The 173 seamless, vertical steel fins are each 20 feet long, with a total weight of over 10 tons. Each fin was twisted in place to varying degrees, from subtle to severe. At the edge of the lobby, the fins are parallel to the wall behind them. By the center, the fins are perpendicular, creating a moire effect as visitors walk past. The fins, which were manufactured in Brooklyn, were tensioned on-site, tuning each to maintain structural deflection limits. The wall is a unique sculpture that warrants fine-tuning like the spokes of the bike or the cables of a suspension bridge.
Balanced by an abundance of floor-to-ceiling white marble, as well as white marble floors, the bronze feature wall subtly reinforces the lobby sequence, and emphasizes the long, open public space. The security desk is visible from the north and south entrances and provides excellent views of all the areas of the lobby from a single point. The white marble desk anchors the lobby, while concealing any clutter.