360 Madison Ave
For decades, this prominent corner building housed the original Abercrombie & Fitch, a high-end lifestyle and apparel brand. Now, where the department store’s masonry façade once anchored it to Madison Avenue, the building is wrapped in a sophisticated glass skin suited to a modern corporate office building. Within this surface, however, lies a complex archaeology. Aluminum incisions trace former cornice lines and abandoned display windows, betraying the ghost of the old building in the new geometry.
Alongside the recycled steel skeleton of the former building, a new 26-story concrete frame was constructed and integrated to present a unified façade. The new massing and façade reflect careful study of zoning requirements and the local architectural context, including the Fred F. French building, a neighboring historic landmark.
Whereas the exterior of 360 Madison is a dynamic mixture of old and new, the lobby presents a unified aesthetic a mass of contradictions, the lobby is a different world. A woven wood ceiling and the mass of the concierge desk were inspired by the creation story in the Book of Genesis. Concrete, wood, and hand-rubbed bronze allude to the simplicity and timelessness of Bronze Age craft. In the brief interlude between street and elevator, ancient references are intended to provide solace for more modern times.
- Award of Merit, New York Construction News, 2002