Pei Cobb Freed & Partners

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Female, Latinx, Asian/Pacific Islander owned

New York, NY


1271 Avenue of the Americas Recladding and Repositioning

An early modern icon of its generation, this historically significant building is undergoing a sensitive and carefully considered program of restoration, modernization, and improvement.

The repositioning of 1271 Avenue of the Americas comprises five interdependent and parallel projects: facade replacement, lobby restoration and upgrade, plaza improvement, elevator modernization, and significant MEP system upgrades throughout the building.

Adhering to the intentions of the original design, upgrades in the landmarked lobby involve selective replacement and restoration of the existing glass ceiling, stone floors, and marble walls. Improvements to the storefront enhance the relationship of the building to the plaza and its surroundings. An iconic new canopy over the existing 51st Street passage reestablishes access to the plaza while providing exciting retail opportunities.

Incorporating low-E glazing and thermal breaks, the new cladding provides 50 percent more vision area while retaining the essential proportions of the original façade.

SITE: The former Time & Life Building in Midtown Manhattan

AREA: Building area 2 million ft2 / 185,000 m2; curtain wall surface area: 626,000 ft2 / 58,000 m2

COMPONENTS: Recladding of curtain wall and storefront façade; restoration and upgrade of historic lobby, including elevators and exterior plaza

CLIENT: The Rockefeller Group Development Corporation

PCF&P SERVICES: Architecture for lobby and plaza; exterior envelope; interior design of lobby



Award for Excellence: Finalist; winner pending Urban Land Institute New York, 2021

American Architecture Award Chicago Athenaeum, 2021

International Architecture Award Chicago Athenaeum / European Centre, 2021

Green Good Design Award: Architecture Chicago Athenaeum / European Centre, 2021

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Status: Built
Location: New York, NY, US
Firm Role: Architect
Additional Credits: Historic Preservation Consultant: Higgins Quasebarth & Partners LLC; Landscape: Ken Smith Landscape Architect, New York; Structural and M/E/P: Arup; Fountain: Fluidity Design Consultants, Los Angeles; Signage: Poulin + Morris, Inc., New York; Lighting: One Lux Studio; Images: Pei Cobb Freed & Partners, Pei Cobb Freed & Partners