CLIENTThe Durst Organization
LOCATIONNew York, NY
SIZE45,000 sq ft
STUDIOS was selected to renovate the amenities floor at 151 West 42nd Street (formerly known as 4 Times Square), a commercial office tower in Midtown Manhattan. As Conde Nast vacated over 800,000 square feet in 2016, The Durst Organization decided to renovate the fourth floor, previously home to the legendary Conde Nast canteen, in an effort to appeal to prospective tenants as part of a building-wide capital improvement program. The redesigned space includes a large conference center, a food hall, a coffee bar, and the preserved Frank Gehry-designed cafeteria.
STUDIOS understood from the start that the challenge to this project was to reprogram the amenities spaces while respecting the original design. Gehry’s glass curtains and serpentine seating elements remain the centerpiece of the café. A new artisan food hall operated by Michelin Star Chef Claus Meyer provides six separate micro-restaurants and kiosks. The renovation drastically increased access to the food hall from the entry off the elevator lobby from 6’ to over 30’, no longer funneling patrons into the space and giving them space to meander. The connection between the food hall and the café was also enlarged, infusing the light and dimensionality of the Gehry glass panels across spaces.
To complement the client’s commitment to sustainability and wellness, a more natural palette was introduced to the project as well as natural elements such as a green wall and green shelf for growing edibles. The laminate floors were replaced with American white oak planks, the brown leather serpentine banquette seating and booths were reupholstered in lighter beige tones, and the retro-styled yellow dining tables replaced with white thermoformed Corian tables. The booths and tables provide concealed receptacles for charging devices, allowing the café space to serve as another workspace destination for employees in the building throughout the day. Programmable LED lighting, motorized solar shading, and an acoustic ceiling treatment in the café provide a reprieve from the bustle of Times Square outside the windows.
A wood-lined portal with varied seating arrangements at the far end of the café opens to The Green, a semi-circular room with a floor to ceiling planted green wall. The 106-foot long green wall contains over 2,200 plants representing 12 species and 22 varieties and has an integral watering system. The Green also houses a curved Corian bar that serves breakfast faire in the morning, coffee throughout the day, and transitions to a bar in the late afternoon. Arrangements of lounge seating, a casual nook complete with porch swings, pool table, and drop-down projection screen provide another destination for tenants.
Awards & Press
- Interior Design, NYCxDesign Awards, Commercial Lobby/Amenity — 2018
- Interior Design, Best of Year Awards, Corporate Cafeteria — 2018
- Studios Architecture Revamps the Frank Gehry–Designed Former Condé Nast Cafeteria — Architectural Digest 2018
- Take a look at revamped Gehry cafeteria at the former Condé Nast headquarters — Architect's Newspaper 2018
- Ex-Condé Nast cafeteria reopens for new tenants after 5 years — New York Post 2018
PHOTOGRAPHYTom Minieri, Jeremy Frechette