Press Release

MetLife Building design by AECOM a winner in “Reimagine a NYC Icon” competition

MetLife Tower from Empire State BuildingBold vision would double the height, create sky gardens, bring in light and dramatically improve efficiency

NEW YORK (March 8, 2016) — A new vision for New York City’s MetLife Building (formerly the Pan Am Building) reimagines the 50-year-old icon as a highly efficient, light-filled structure of nearly twice the height with less than one-sixth the annual energy cost. The design by AECOM is a winner in the “Reimagine a New York City Icon” competition, sponsored by Metals in Construction magazine and the Ornamental Metal Institute of New York.

Inspired by the goal of radically reducing energy consumption in the built environment, the competition mandate was to reimagine 200 Park Avenue with a resource-conserving, eco-friendly enclosure — one that creates a highly efficient envelope with the lightness and transparency sought by today’s office workforce — while preserving and enhancing the tower’s historic profile.

The AECOM design applies available air rights from the new Midtown East rezoning to envision a “vertical city.” It doubles the height of the building by wrapping the existing and new tower sections in a unified exoskeleton, using a diagrid structure inspired by the Michell Truss. In support of NYC sustainability goals, the design increases density over a major transit terminal to reduce travel demand and, by removing the base building, creates a new garden offering natural light and public space to the streets around Grand Central Station.

“As our cities become denser, and environmental challenges more pressing, the success of future real estate development will in significant part reside in how creatively we can repurpose existing structures,” said Geoff Lynch, vice president, AECOM, NY Metro architecture lead. “Central to this challenge is efficiently designing and engineering spaces that engage robust human activity with minimal resource impact.”

At 1,600 feet, the proposed design would be the tallest building in New York City by roof height. It incorporates a high-performance façade and deep-energy repositioning techniques to reduce energy use intensity by an estimated 88 percent, improve fresh air by an estimated 34 percent and increase daylight by an estimated 57 percent.

The concept enhances the vertical life of the city by incorporating new residences and a hotel with shared amenity spaces and gardens above the existing offices. This vertical band of green reflects the landscape of Park Avenue as an element in the façade.

“This elegant vision to reimagine an iconic structure reveals the true power of integrated design,” said Rebecca Nolan, executive vice president, AECOM, leader of the firm’s buildings and places design practice for the Americas. “When outstanding architects team with engineering, construction and energy-performance experts, the potential to unite beauty and exceptionalism stretches the limits of what the industry thought possible.”

The competition jury cited the AECOM entry for its outstanding merits. Volley Studio provided the visual renderings.

AECOM is built to deliver a better world. We design, build, finance and operate infrastructure assets for governments, businesses and organizations in more than 150 countries. As a fully integrated firm, we connect knowledge and experience across our global network of experts to help clients solve their most complex challenges. From high-performance buildings and infrastructure, to resilient communities and environments, to stable and secure nations, our work is transformative, differentiated and vital. A Fortune 500 firm, AECOM had revenue of approximately $18 billion during fiscal year 2015. See how we deliver what others can only imagine at and @AECOM.

AMERICAS 16-0303

AECOM Media Contact:
Erik Miller
AECOM Architecture, NY Metro Contact:
Geoff Lynch