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Avenue of the Americas: the new urban amphitheater unveiled

Two plazas joined by a sweeping staircase to mark the gateway to Rockefeller Center

Antonio Citterio Patricia Viel (ACPV)

Avenue of the Americas: the new urban amphitheater unveiled
By Redazione The Plan -

A special place in New York for looking up and enjoying the views of the skyscrapers as well as one of the most iconic locations in the whole city, the public plaza at 1221 Avenue of the Americas, between Central Park and Radio City Music Hall, will soon be transformed into an urban amphitheater. The redevelopment of this large space in Midtown Manhattan was recently unveiled by the Italian architecture and interior design studio led by Antonio Citterio and Patricia Viel, ACPV Architects, which has been entrusted with the renovation of the two areas connected by East Plaza (at sidewalk level) and Concourse Plaza (below), which will provide better access to the building’s retail spaces.

“Harmonizing with the architecture of the building, the East Plaza will speak a new architectural language intended to bring clarity, coherence, and a refined style to all its elements, including lighting, landscape, and public services,” explains Antonio Citterio, cofounder of ACPV Architects.


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Rockefeller Center Plaza: multifunctional, dynamic spaces

1221 Avenue Of Americas, ACPV Architects Render by VMI, courtesy of ACPV Architects

The key aims of this project commissioned by the Rockefeller Group include the creation of better quality spaces for local office workers to spend time while also meeting the needs for exchange and socializing, which have come to the fore in recent times. For this reason, an emphasis was placed on creating dynamism and encouraging human interaction through areas with tables, benches, and seats surrounded by plants and art installations, as well as through the creation of multifunctional spaces. In achieving this, the architects focused on the changing habits of the people who’ll be using the spaces. While it was once essentially a corporate corridor for people to get from point A to point B, it’s set to become a pathway between Bryant Park and Central Park, and between Fifth Avenue and Times Square.

Central to the reorganization of these two interconnected areas, which occupy 21,500 square feet (2000 m2) of public space, is the presence of a large staircase that, in turn, will improve access to the 65,000 square feet (6000 m2) of retail space as well as the usability of pedestrian areas.


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1221 Avenue Of Americas, ACPV Architects Render by Squint Opera, courtesy of ACPV Architects

“The staircase provides a generous space to encourage spontaneous social interaction, as well as accentuating the continuity between East Plaza and Concourse Plaza, which is further reinforced by the careful selection of materials in both areas,” says Patricia Viel, cofounder of ACPV Architects.


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Location: New York, USA
Architects: ACPV Architects
Completion: in progress (end of 2022)
Team ACPV: Antonio Citterio, Patricia Viel with Joseph Montaleone (partner), and Federica De Curtis, Massimiliano Calabrò, Silvia Pirrera, Valerio Pozzi, Davide Simone Anzalone, Marta Milano
Client: Rockefeller Group
Render by VMI, courtesy of ACPV Architects and a render by Squint Opera, courtesy of ACPV Architects

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