ACPV Designs New Urban Amphitheatre in New York’s Midtown for Rockefeller Group

The public plaza at 1221 Avenue of the Americas will become a dynamic public space – an inviting meeting place where people can enjoy the open air and views of surrounding landmark towers.


Italian architecture and interior design practice Antonio Citterio Patricia Viel (ACPV) has revealed the renovation of the public plaza at 1221 Avenue of the Americas in Midtown Manhattan, New York City. On the edge of Manhattan’s ‘Theater District’, just a few blocks away from Central Park and Rockefeller Center’s world-renowned Radio City Music Hall, Rockefeller Group’s plaza will transform into a spacious urban amphitheatre that will serve as a gateway to retail spaces, dining experiences and cultural activities.

The redevelopment comprises 65,000ft2 (approximately 6000m2) of retail spaces and 22,400ft2 (approximately 2000m2) of public plaza. The new spaces will establish a strong relationship with their urban context through a system of pathways that connect the area with the surrounding office buildings and the Rockefeller Center subway station, one of the city’s busiest hubs. The renovation is expected to be completed by the end of 2022.

The project includes the redesign of two interconnected areas: the above-ground portion of the east plaza and the concourse plaza located on the level below. ACPV’s vision for the underutilised area is a multi-purpose outdoor space that elevates the urban experience of office workers, visitors and subway riders alike.

A single staircase will connect the street level and the lower plaza seamlessly, offering ample seating for people to relax in the open air. “The staircase provides generous spaces to foster spontaneous social interaction and emphasises the continuity between the east plaza and the concourse plaza, also reinforced by the meticulous selection of materials for both areas,” says Architect and Co-Founder of ACPV, Patricia Viel.

The key design objective for the east plaza is to improve the walkway leading to the 1221 Avenue of the Americas building’s entrance. “In harmony with the building’s architecture, the east plaza will articulate a new architectural language designed to bring clarity, coherence and a refined style across all its elements – including lighting, landscape and public amenities,” adds Architect and Co-Founder of ACPV, Antonio Citterio.

Newly-created retail spaces and improved street and subway access will transform the concourse plaza into a destination in its own right. “The redevelopment is envisioned as a flexible area that is able to respond to people’s ever-changing needs, attracting both residents and visitors to the city,” explains Architect and ACPV’s partner in charge of the project, Joseph Montaleone.

“From a retail perspective, since this building was first developed, the Avenue of the Americas has completely changed for the public from a corporate corridor to a pathway between Bryant Park and Central Park, Fifth Avenue and Times Square,” concludes Bill Edwards, Rockefeller Group’s Executive Vice President of Core Holdings. “Space that was once designed for corporations has been adapted for new uses, and we’re thrilled to have this blank canvas for innovative brands to explore and the public to enjoy.”

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