Manhattan Office: 2015 BoY Winner for Large Corporate Office
Lines stretched around the block to see James Turrell‘s light installation filling the rotunda of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum a couple of years ago. But the city’s latest Turrell isn’t in a museum. To see the piece, you need to have business to conduct with this family-run office. Rising through its double-height main reception area is Turrell’s enormous hollow structure, which required six months to construct from white solid-surfacing and concealed LEDs.
Like the Turrell, its surroundings make us see the world differently. A Manhattan office, it turns out, can be as graciously proportioned and serene as a Palladian villa. That’s partly thanks to the impressive real estate. 125,000 square feet on five levels of a brand new tower by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill.
Interior Design Hall of Fame member Lee Mindel and A+I senior associate Sommer Schauer gave additional rationality to their plan by designating a color for each level—in keeping with the theory of artist Josef Albers, also one of Turrell’s touchstones. The entry level’s collaborative spaces got green in various shades, since it’s closest to the earth below. And the top executives, highest of course, got royal blue as well as darker, richer woodwork.
The bursts of color are kept in check by the conceptual rigor. Mindel has a particular genius for iposing order but not making it feel like a forced march.
Project Team: Shelton, Mindel & Associates: Grace Sierra; Margaret O’Connor; Maggie Martinez. Architecture + Information: Brad Zizmor; Dag Folger; Cheryl Baxter; Nisha Mary Prasad; Chris Shelley; Abby Kuskin; Aaron Whitney; Katina Max Kremelberg.