Twin Supertalls Revealed As Part Of Garden City, Possible Relocation Of Madison Square Garden, In Midtown Manhattan
The City Council voted this week in a Community Board Five meeting to advance plans for a massive undertaking in Midtown involving the conversion of Madison Square Garden into a new concourse for Penn Station, and the creation of a new home for the sports facility between two supertall skyscrapers near Herald Square. Initially proposed in 2016 by Vishaan Chakrabarti, founder of Practice for Architecture and Urbanism (PAU), new renderings give visual context to the plan, to which the city council agreed with the consideration of The Madison Square Garden Company’s acquisition of a shorter extension of its current lease.
PAU’s initiatives previously included the removal of the arena interiors, expansion of the transportation concourse floors, addition of passive heating and cooling, improvements to the northern and western entrances to the facility, and the addition of new platforms and tracks in conjunction with the proposed $13 billion Gateway Program. The cylindrical shape of the building would be preserved, but several levels of floors would be removed and the exterior would be re-clad in a new double-skin glass curtain wall, enabling natural light to flood the open interior and its 153-foot-high span from the ceiling to the platforms.
Madison Square Garden would move to an eight-acre site consisting of two full-block parcels bound by Sixth Avenue to the east, West 32nd Street to the south, Seventh Avenue to the west, and West 34th Street to the north. Straddling the new arena is a pair of supertall skyscrapers and two shorter towers, anchoring all four corners of a raised podium above street level.
The rendering below gives an impression of the design and scale of the buildings and their impact on the Manhattan skyline. Whether or not these are close to Vishaan’s intended design is unclear, but they would easily eclipse the height of the Empire State Building and Kohn Pedersen Fox’s 30 Hudson Yards, becoming a focal point of lower Midtown, and anchoring the neighborhood with a Rockefeller Center-esque presence.