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Construction & Design

Olayan Group gets go-ahead for new public garden at 550 Madison Avenue

Landscape architects at Snøhetta are creating the public garden.

The Olayan Group announced that the public open space at 550 Madison received its final approval from the City Planning Commission, following Manhattan Community Board 5’s approval in December.

The landscape architects at Snøhetta are creating a public garden at the landmark office building in East Midtown for tenants and the community to enjoy.

The garden will increase the public open space by 50 percent to more than 21,000 s/f.

“Philip Johnson and John Burgee’s vision for 550 Madison was to create not only a one-of-a-kind commercial tower, but deliver public open space to East Midtown. Working with Snøhetta, we have created an incredible new public garden that will bring much-needed green space and further improve the vitality of East Midtown,” said Erik Horvat, Managing Director of Real Estate at Olayan America.

“I want to thank the Department of City Planning, Community Board 5, and the Landmarks Preservation Commission for their partnership and collaboration on creating what will become a great amenity to the local community and our world-class office tenants.”

The open space at 550 Madison will be transformed from what is currently an enclosed and underutilized space to one with access to fresh air, greenery, and more sunlight. 44 percent of the space will be planted.

The garden will also accommodate and serve more people with more seating, tables, and public bathrooms.

The public space will also offer bike racks and plant over 40 trees, where there currently are none.

In October, Olayan revealed the new ground-floor lobby for 550 Madison, designed by Gensler, which will connect to the proposed new garden.

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