MADGI renovates historic lobby at 180 Madison Avenue

March 24, 2015

BY: New York Real Estate Journal

MADGI completes renovation of 2,200 s/f lobby at 180 Madison Avenue

Manhattan, NY The New York City architecture, design, and planning firm of Montroy Andersen DeMarco (MADGI) completed the renovation of a 2,200 s/f historic lobby at 180 Madison Ave. The lobby renovation followed MADGI's multiple pre-built office design projects at the building managed by CBRE Group, Inc.

Located one block from the Empire State Building and built in 1927, the 24-story, 300,000 s/f tower offers 280,000 s/f of office space.

According to Laura Bruno, CBRE Group's property manager at 180 Madison Ave., "The renovated lobby reflects the quality of the building and its prime location. Prior to the renovation, this space was dimly lit and uninviting, with outdated finishes and a reception desk inconveniently located far away from the building's entrance. The new lobby is stunning, with restored stone, excellent lighting, and a new, centrally-located, custom-fabricated reception desk."

"The renovation was an important element of the extensive upgrade of the entire building aimed at attracting new tenants, particularly those in the media and technology industries," said MADGI Principal and leader of the Landlord Services Studio Daniel Montroy, AIA. "The MADGI team maintained the beauty of the historic, marble-clad lobby, while modernizing its appearance, improving the street appeal, and introducing visually strong, hi-tech features, such as strip LED lighting. We have seamlessly meshed the new and the old."

The L-shaped lobby features marble walls, terrazzo flooring, elaborate plaster ceilings, and decorative arches. "We saw the potential of bringing the dated lobby back to its glamorous origins," said MADGI project manager Sarah Bigos. "It was obvious the space needed improved lighting and new finishes, but the original refined elegance of the 1920s interior was already there. We focused on opening the space up and exposing the chic marble walls and elaborate plaster ornaments."

The designers removed eight heavy, oversized pendant lighting fixtures and replaced them with a line of smaller, custom-designed pendants that accentuated the plaster rosettes and other ceiling features, while incorporating re-used elements of the original fixtures. The arches in the walls received miniature profile strips of LED lights, which were imbedded in the floor.

In order to lighten up the interior, the designers also replaced black marble on pilasters with lightly colored marble that matches the original stone finish of the lobby. The decorative ceiling was repaired and received new paint, while the original marble walls and terrazzo floor were cleaned and polished.

The reception desk's design reflects its multi-functionality: use by both day and night security crews, storage, and security technology. The new desk is larger than the previous one and includes an elevated transaction top that hides computer monitors, compartments for CCTV monitors, and storage space for the security personnel's personal items. The desk features a 12-ft.-long marble counter top; beige marble front panels that match the marble of the walls; a black marble base that re-utilizes the stone removed from the lobby's pilasters; and plastic laminate millwork that matches the color of the beige marble.

The renovation also called for a new HVAC system. It replaced an insufficient, separate pre-existing system that featured diffusers in locations that would cause swinging of new, smaller lighting fixtures. The team removed perimeter radiators that obstructed the marble walls and tied the new air distribution ductwork to the building's central HVAC system. New vents and diffusers were installed in locations previously occupied by radiators, which reduced the amount of interruption to the historic walls. In addition, the designers integrated the air return intake into the base of the new desk, which reduced the number of new openings.

According to MADGI designer Tanya Naumova, the architectural team made a conscious effort to minimize changes to the original, historical elements of the space. "Through re-use of marble and elements of the pre-existing lighting fixtures, and by limiting the number of new openings in the lobby, the designers reduced the amount of required construction work, lowered the cost of the renovation, and prevented disruptions to the original architectural details of the lobby," she said.

In addition to MADGI, the project team included general contractor Murphy-Kennedy Group; mechanical, electrical, and plumbing (MEP) engineer 2LS Consulting Engineering; and lighting fixtures manufacturer The Dulanski Group.