The program for this competition called for the redevelopment of the present Madison Square Garden site (on the site of mcKim, Mead and White’s former Pennsylvania Station) into 4.4 million square feet of office space, including trading floors.
The influences on the site include the future growth expected to its west, beyond the full-box Main Post Office. The proximity of One Penn Plaza and the way in which people move under and through it to enter the site, plus the grid of Manhattan, influenced the organization of the project and the basic decision to subdivide it into three interrelated towers. By aligning each tower with the outer boundaries of the block, the street grid is respected. Siting the 72-story South Tower slightly in from Eighth Avenue enhances preferred views and provides greater sun penetration into the plaza. The lower 38-story East-Tower responds to the random low-scale nature of its surroundings.
The entire project is on a podium above the large trading floors, which is lined with shops and restaurants reached by a series of stairs and ramps. The major approach is by a gradual slope in the podium down to Eighth Avenue.
Metal panels with punched windows on the rectilinear edges of the building express the core and structure, while glass and glass-panel banding, projecting balconies, and brise-soleil articulate the more freely expressive sides.