712 Fifth Avenue lobby. Credit: Michael Moran/OTTO.

René Lalique glass detailing on the window of the retail building. Credit: Michael Moran/OTTO.

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Architectural Record Explores KPF’s Revamp of 712 Fifth Avenue

In a case study in glass and glazing, the outlet recounts KPF’s intervention in updating the lobby at 712 Fifth Avenue, focusing on the art nouveau-inspired entrance wall.

712 Fifth Avenue is a 650-foot-tall office tower that incorporates two historic rowhouses within the address: the 1908 Coty Building and the 1907 former Rizzoli Bookstore. As the designer of the original tower completed in 1990, KPF was brought back by Paramount Group to update the lobby and adjacent retail spaces. “The resulting revamp wrapped up last spring,” Architectural Record writes, “and saw the respectful renovation of those Fifth Avenue storefronts and the introduction of a curved glass entrance with a milled-limestone reception area in the tower lobby (formerly a muted affair of thick, gray granite columns with little daylight.)”

Design Principal Hugh Trumbull spoke with Record about KPF’s intervention on the project, taking inspiration from the historic Lalique glazing of the rowhouse-retail spaces for the glass, winged-form of the lobby entrance. “What you see here sprang from an homage to the Lalique glass and the idea of capturing something within the glass as a piece of art… It is our offering to really think about how to incorporate historic architecture and embed it within the heart of a very different building.”

KPF worked with façade specialist Front on the project, where glass was chosen for its “desirable distortion and reflectiveness, an effect that is multiped by the sheer scale of the panels—each measure some 14 feet tall.” The team was able to avoid the use of mullions for support, while custom decorative caps are used to hold four subtypes of panels in place.

To complement the glass, KPF sourced CNC-milled blocks of limestone for the interior walls, seating, and front desk. “The result is a welcoming and luminous entry that, in drawing from the past, confidently repositions the office tower for the years ahead,” the article notes.

Read the full article online here.

Also in the March issue, Architectural Record featured Atlantis The Royal in the project Snapshot section.