Tenants within Manhattan’s Hudson Square Neighborhood Have a Welcoming New Experience on the Ground Floor with Three Lobbies Designed by A+I
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, part of Hines’ larger Hudson Square portfolio and located 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 buildings must adapt to accommodate this shift.
Formerly home to Manhattan’s printing industry, 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 office lobby has traditionally been a space that links point A to point B. The cadence and ritual around work 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,” Brad Zizmor, co-founder of A+I said. “The Hudson Square lobbies leverage the communal experience innate to hospitality environments and bring a warmer, richer experience in to a workplace that both tenants and visitors get to enjoy.”
Using a design vocabulary similar to one another, 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 tall bar with stools encourages standing meetings perfect for taking advantage of high quality food and beverage retail on-site. At 225 Varick Street, distinct seating areas separated by a small stair create a series of intimate spaces for a small meeting or private phone call. At 155 Avenue of the Americas, A+I 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 loose 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. These touches were softened with elements like light grain wood wrapping the 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 acts as a surround to the concrete high-volume walkways 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.
“Quote from Eliane on material specification and how it was about the contract between muscular existing architecture and softer elements that unite to create a unique space that will attract tenants,” says Eliane Maillot, studio director at A+I and design leader on the project.
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, a workplace project A+I first completed in 2016 and is currently finishing an expansion. 75 Varick Street’s primary tenant is Horizon Media, a company with whom A+I has an ongoing relationship, having designed their headquarters and its four expansions.
This summer, the lobbies will be complemented by a series of roofs also available for tenant use. Quote from Hines’ rep on making buildings attractive to the modern tenant.