Hudson Square Tenants Have a Welcoming New Experience on the Ground Floor with Three Lobbies Designed by A+I
NEW YORK, New York -- Integrated architecture, strategy, and experience design studio Architecture Plus Information (A+I) announces the opening of three lobby and tenant amenity spaces within downtown Manhattan’s bustling Hudson Square neighborhood. The properties are part of the larger Hudson Square Properties portfolio jointly owned by Trinity and Norges Bank and run by Hines, representing 12 buildings totaling approximately 6 million square feet of space. The three buildings at 75 Varick Street, 225 Varick Street, and 155 Avenue of the Americas imbue hospitality within a reimagined lobby experience, reflecting the changing nature of work in people’s lives and demonstrating how landlords understand that buildings must adapt to accommodate this shift.
Formerly a manufacturing neighborhood, Hudson Square is now attracting technology and media companies like Google, Squarespace, and Disney at a breakneck clip. A+I was asked to transform three building lobbies and adjacent underutilized real estate into comfortable, amenity-rich spaces where tenants and guests can relax, take an informal meeting, or grab a coffee and conduct business on the go.
Buildings Adapt to the New Way of Working
The lobby has traditionally been a space linking point A to point B, but the cadence and ritual around work has changed dramatically in the last decade. Rather than pass-throughs in the morning and evening, A+I designed productive spaces that act as social activators, lending value to the buildings in which they are placed.
“As our methods of work shift, the buildings in which we do business need to change as well,” Dag Folger, co-founder of A+I said. “The Hudson Square lobbies leverage the communal experience innate to hospitality environments and bring a warm, richer experience in to a workplace that both tenants and visitors get to enjoy.”
Using a similar design vocabulary, each lobby applies a slightly different approach to the tenant and guest experience. Within the largest space at 75 Varick Street, a 15 foot-long bar encourages standing meetings perfect for taking advantage of high quality food and beverage retail on-site. At 225 Varick Street, distinct seating areas located on a raised platform both engage the newly opened storefront and provide a series of intimate spaces for a small meeting or private phone call. At 155 Avenue of the Americas, A+I celebrated the existing level changes by created two tiers of social spaces, a larger banquette surrounded by greenery near the reception desk and a more familiar seating area with oversized chairs further into the space, perfect for catching up on one’s email.
Together, the three spaces form a distributed campus that communicates a shared sensibility to the visitor. A+I used the existing architecture as a jumping off point, celebrating the muscular character of the manufacturing buildings, exposing columns and concrete wherever possible. These touches were softened with elements like a light grain wood reception desk and planters at 155 Avenue of the Americas, marble terrazzo floors and brass handrail elements at 225 Varick Street, and wood flooring that defines the social areas within the high-volume concrete circulation paths at 75 Varick. A colorful range of seating, accented by thriving plant life and well-selected artwork, encourages people to linger in all three lobbies and develop meaningful interactions outside the confines of the traditional office.
“Our finish considerations were heavily influenced by the existing historical context and materials of each building. For example, the use of an undulating brick installed in the lobby at 155 was our modern interpretation of the materiality of the building’s exterior. At 75 Varick, the black absolute granite that remained at the elevator banks influenced the design of the custom wall graphic. This methodology in addition to the softer elements found in each of the spaces unite to create a unique environment that will attract tenants,” says Eliane Maillot, associate principal and studio director at A+I.
For two of the buildings, it was something of a homecoming for A+I. 225 Varick is the site of Squarespace’s New York headquarters, an A+I workplace project undergoing an expansion. 75 Varick Street’s primary tenant is Horizon Media, a company with whom A+I has an ongoing relationship, designing their headquarters and its four expansions starting in 2008.
Later this year, the lobbies will be complemented by a series of roofs also available for tenant use.
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