225 Fifth Avenue, a residential condominium conversion, commissioned Rawlins Design to redesign the extensive public spaces for this storied and Landmarked structure. The Lobby Vestibule extends the rusticated base of the facade, seamlessly integrating security and climate control systems.

The Lobby was visually barren and functionally deficient, with all of the intimacy of a bowling alley. Over-scaled fiberglass pilasters from the 1990's failed to create a sense of place. In response, Rawlins Design created an architectural shell in keeping with the style of the building, overlaid with crisp modernist detailing. Bronze, automated doors lead to the Lobby. Once past the Lobby Vestibule, finely-scaled details cultivated from the upper facade impart a residential scale to the Lobby interior. The front desk, formerly a noisy and drafty space, is fitted with acoustically upholstered walls and supplemental heating built into a custom bronze and marble desk. Stone column bases cover scars in the existing terrazzo floor and are embedded with accent lighting.

Four elevator cabs covered in plastic laminate were overhauled. Bronze, antique mirror, and backlit onyx animate the new elevator cabs. New ceiling ribs work in tandem with the columns and pilasters to create a series of small-scale niches within the long space, such as the renovated Mailroom.

The rear portion of the Lobby contains plush seating areas for residents. An eclectic mix of modern and traditional furnishings fulfill the client's desire for public spaces that marry the opulence of a Park Avenue co-op with the downtown ambience of its Flatiron neighborhood. Rawlins Design specified all of the furnishings and curated the artwork. The rear of the Lobby offered a blank wall as welcome. Now, a carved a niche in the rear wall is punctuated with a sculpture that was specially commissioned for the space.

Project: 225 FIFTH AVENUE LOBBY

Photos: TOM SIBLEY

Location: NEW YORK CITY

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