215 Park Avenue South, 1901
New York, NY 10003
212 962 6307

Gotham Grand: A Metropolitan Skyscraper

New York, NY


Office, Hotel, Retail, and Transit Atrium






2,670,680 GSF

In 2016 PAU was commissioned to study a mixed-use skyscraper just east of Grand Central Terminal that would house a great metropolitan hotel, destination office space, and much improved station infrastructure, particularly at the congested corner of Lexington Avenue and 42nd Street. A paramount objective for our design is its the relationship to two of New York’s most treasured landmarks, the Chrysler Building and the Terminal, allowing both breathing room as this key transit location intensifies.

At a crossroads for Gotham, the site is anchored by the public potentials of the great metropolitan hotel. Such a hotel is a city within a city—it stands as both a mirror of and a window into the bustling metropolis it helps define. It is not a boutique hotel, tucked away on a side street. It is not a super-luxury brand, perched exclusively in the sky. It should be near the ground, energizing the adjacent station, streets and sidewalks.

A great metropolitan hotel has unmistakable presence. It stands proud at the heart of a grand city, making it grander by unequivocally declaring “you have arrived.” It ticks with the heartbeat of the street, the coming and going of tourists, the fleeting glimpse of a businesswoman stepping out of a black car as she darts to her meeting, the runner in the gym rejuvenating after a long flight, the friends relaxing at the bar after a hard day’s work, the rush of couples in black tie attire running late to the charity dinner. It is a microcosm of the urbane world that surrounds it. In this context, the project has an extraordinarily unique opportunity due to both its location and its timing.

This proposal has particular meaning at the precise moment that New York is rethinking the future in the aftermath of the pandemic. As a place of convening, the project has the opportunity to seize on this moment like few other sites. Paired with the Terminal, a rejuvenated grand hotel is uniquely positioned to become the epicenter for all that the new Midtown could represent in a vaccinated world still lured by remote technologies.

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