Going Up

Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners brings high-tech industrial chic to Manhattan

Architecture Development East News
Rendering of the West 27th Street-facing lot. (Courtesy Vornado Realty Trust)
Rendering of the West 27th Street-facing lot. (Courtesy Vornado Realty Trust)

The first renderings of New York’s Otis Elevator building revamp have trickled out, and it appears that Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners (RSH+P) will be preserving the historic far West Chelsea building while adding their own industrial flair.

Developer and investor Vornado Realty Trust purchased the seven-story brick building at 260 11th Avenue in Manhattan in 2015, with plans to convert the former Otis Elevator headquarters into office space for new companies. The office market in New York is still going strong, particularly on Manhattan’s lower west side, and Vornado revealed their plans for the building in the trust’s latest investor report.

The double-height atrium being floated over the adjacent 549 West 26th Street building.

The double-height atrium will float over the adjacent 549 West 26th Street building, behind 260 11th Avenue. (Courtesy Vornado Realty Trust)

As CityRealty notes, Rogers has hearkened back to the “inside-out” style of his Centre Pompidou for 260 11th Ave, exposing the structural and HVAC elements, and including a freestanding, glass-clad circulation core.

A 10,000-square-foot parking lot facing 27th Street currently sits behind the original Otis Elevator building, which Vornado will be developing into an eight-story, glass-fronted building with a structural steel facade. From the renderings, it appears that RSH+P will set back the new building at the sixth floor, and cantilever a two-story atrium over the roof of the neighboring 549 West 26th Street, with a connection to the new glassy topper at 260 West 11th. Both rooftops will also be converted into accessible green space.

An interior rendering of the new building on 27th street; all of the internal systems have been left on display.

An interior rendering of the new building on 27th street; all of the internal systems have been left on display. (Courtesy Vornado Realty Trust)

The new addition and any exterior changes to the 235,000 square-foot existing building will need to pass muster with the city’s Landmarks Preservation Commission. While the headquarters, built in 1911, has historical cachet (the Otis Elevator Company supplied elevators to some of N.Y.C.’s most famous buildings), it isn’t an individual landmark. Both lots fall inside the West Chelsea Historic District.

The current state of the Otis Elevator building, which has pronounced cornices.

The current state of the Otis Elevator building, which has pronounced cornices. (Beyond My Ken/Wikimedia)

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