Bruce Nagel & Partners Architects

ABC - Phase II

New York, New York
1992

Kohn Pedersen Fox Architects

  • Judith DiMaio (BN&PA-Design Partner) - Senior Designer

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ABC Phase II is located at 45-47 West 66th Street in New York City. As senior designer, DiMaio, with the support of the partner in charge, Arthur May, was granted a great deal of freedom in the design. With her longstanding penchant for exterior wall design or “skin” the building’s façade became a testing ground for her trans-historical design methodology while, at the same time, fulfilling ABC’s image conscious expectations. The building was praised by the then New York Times Architectural critic, Paul Goldberger in his article, making a Street: Forget about Making Logos on the Skyline.  The exterior wall masterfully harmonizes with the neighborhood aesthetic while maintaining a distinctly modern, or ‘cutting edge design” to quote the Vice President of Real Estate and Construction who oversaw the design. The window walls, though not a real curtain wall are ‘two story’ curtain walls harking to the neighborhood’s art studio facades that prevailed at the turn of the century.

The materials are lush and mixed in texture. A large portion of the exterior wall needed to be windowless given the television studios within and DiMaio used this limitation as a freedom and created a rhythm of figural bays incorporating granite panels that tie the entire composition together. DiMaio relied heavily on inspirations and crossover from history that she believed could be expanded upon and transformed.

The lobby space’s aesthetic is a high tech panelized grid of both surface and space. The Lobby’s four walls take on a multiplicity of meanings and continually transform from a scaffold for the support of televisions, and back lit images. The panelized wall system (2’-6” module) further transforms into the lighting sconces for the space. The design, as crafted, is highly original and was recognized as such by KPF.  David Diamond, a design team member, developed the design in detail.

DiMaio, says that tactics are knowing what to do when there is something to do, and strategy is knowing what to do when there is nothing to do. She excels at both when confronting the art of design in building.