Photo credit: Alan Schindler

The Art of Building series showcases the techniques, solutions, and innovations that contribute to Shawmut’s better building experience across the most complex projects.

Designed by Lord Norman Foster, 425 Park Avenue in New York City sets the new standard for workplace design. In addition to being the first full-block office building on Park Avenue in over 50 years, it earned WELL Core Certification at the Gold level for its features that enhance the health and wellbeing of occupants. At the apex of 425 Park Avenue, the Shawmut-built The Diagrid Club provides a collaborative amenity space for tenants during the day and has the capability to transform into an event space in the evenings, creating a true workplace and lifestyle experience in the heart of Manhattan.

With views across Midtown and Central Park, The Diagrid Club boasts indoor and outdoor gardens across two terraces, coffee bar, a meditation room, lounge and collaboration areas, and a commercial prep kitchen.

Working in a double-height space within the apex of the building, extreme attention to detail and coordination was required to fit all of the components into a tight space at the highest point of the ceiling. Shawmut project managers had a weekly meeting with the forepersons specifically to discuss and pre-plan the high-ceiling work, which included hanging fabric-wrapped panels at an angle, hiding theatrical components, installing the linear diffuser and the installation of a slotted grill for the light fixtures that runs around the entire apex. 

To achieve both form and function of the space, the Shawmut team partnered with key trades to develop creative solutions to potential problems. Working with an angled building face, the team had to build a trench structure at the perimeter that was at the same level as the finished floor, meeting key criteria:

  • Support weight so tenants can walk on it
  • Flow seamlessly in with the design of the club
  • Allow heat from the fin tube to flow through
  • Maintain five inches from the storefront to allow the shade system to fit

Working closely with the steel and ornamental steel subcontractors, Shawmut engineered and designed a solution that is now being used as a standard throughout the rest of 425 Park Avenue.