Located at within Manhattan’s famous Fifth Avenue shopping district, 673 Fifth Avenue is a proposal for a three-story retail platform showcasing a curated selection of high-end products from Asia. The retail program called for a mixture of jewelry, accessories, furniture, and housewares, as well as a teahouse and event space. Any renovation on this site would need to maintain an aura of luxury appropriate to the area but would need to maintain a unique presence in an area filled with lavish retail interiors. Link-Arc responded to these pressures by creating three renovation options, each with its own concept, site response, and retail strategy.
The first scheme, called the Jewel Box, was designed to increase the retail value of all three floors by integrating them into a unified spatial sequence that would celebrate the vertical circulation culminating in a third-floor teahouse with panoramic views of the city beyond. The vertical circulation elements could be expressed on the façade to create a unique street presence—the generally solid façade would signal a sense of privacy and discretion appropriate to luxury retail, but the pattern of openings would hint at the unique architectural experience within. The interior of this scheme is defined by an austere but refined palette of materials that includes: marble, palladiana terrazzo, and bronze.
The second scheme, inspired by a traditional Asian garden stone, is defined by a functional insertion that unifies the architectural and commercial experience across all three levels, engages the street with externally oriented displays, and also preserves the existing façade and vertical circulation. This new insertion also incorporates the majority of the interior retail display program and provides flexibility for the client. Finally, Link-Arc proposed a third design option. Inspired by the image of a bamboo forest, this scheme is defined by a vertical wood screen that has a minimal impact upon the existing building and interior, creates a flexible architectural language that is adaptable to many retail types, and responds to the cultural image desired by the client.
Project Name: 673 Fifth Avenue
Project Location: New York, New York, USA
Project Area: 5200 square feet / 483 square meters
Program: retail and teahouse
Client: King Fook Company, Ltd
Design Architect: Yichen Lu
Project Team: Dongyul Kim, Jasmin Yi-Chu Shih, Ian Watchorn
Architect of Record: MAN Architecture