Topping Tiffany's

John Hill
24. August 2020
Looking east on 57th Street (Image: OMA New York/Bloomimages.de)

OMA New York has unveiled the glass-topped transformation designed by Shohei Shigematsu for the Tiffany & Co. flagship store on the corner of Fifth Avenue and 57th Street.

Charles Lewis Tiffany opened his first emporium in Lower Manhattan in 1837, and over the next century his namesake company moved northward several times. In 1940, in its sixth home, Tiffany's settled into the seven-story building designed by Cross & Cross just a couple blocks south of Central Park. It was here where Holly Golightly gazed at diamonds and jewels behind storefront glazing in the 1961 film Breakfast at Tiffany's.

The flagship building looks very much the same way it did then, outside of a three-story volume in matching limestone added on top for office space in 1980. That addition will be removed as part of the three-story rooftop expansion in glass designed by Shigematsu with Jake Forster and the rest of OMA New York.

Looking south down Fifth Avenue (Image: OMA New York/Bloomimages.de)

The overall transformation of the flagship Tiffany's consists of interior renovations, the reorganization of program spaces, and improving the vertical circulation through the building, but it's the new penthouse that grabs the attention. Described in a statement from OMA New York as "a floating volume over an existing terrace" and "an element of newness at the top," the design features clear glass in its lower half and a slumped glass facade in the upper half. The latter was selected because the slumped glass requires less vertical support and it creates "a mirrored effect that provides privacy from the exterior." 

When the flagship opens in spring 2022 (the store is housed temporarily in a neighboring building on 57th Street that was formerly a Nike flagship store) the reconfigured top will be used as an exhibition, event, and "clienteling" space for Tiffany & Co.

Image: OMA New York/Bloomimages.de

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