YIMBY Checks in on Rolex Headquarters at 665 Fifth Avenue in Midtown

665 Fifth Avenue, designed by David Chipperfield Architects

YIMBY checked in on 665 Fifth Avenue, the site of a forthcoming David Chipperfield Architects-designed headquarters for Rolex. The Midtown lot sits at the intersection of Fifth Avenue and East 53rd Street and is currently occupied by a 12-story structure that was built in the 1970s. This International Style building will be torn down to make way for the new 25-story edifice, which will feature a contemporary design of irregularly stacked boxes clad in glass.

Preparations for demolition have yet to commence. The flagship Rolex, St. John, and Lindt stores along Fifth Avenue are still open for business, and no scaffolding or construction equipment has been delivered to the Midtown property.

665 Fifth Avenue, photo by Michael Young

665 Fifth Avenue, photo by Michael Young

665 Fifth Avenue, photo by Michael Young

665 Fifth Avenue, photo by Michael Young

The main renderings and black-and-white photo of the physical model show how Chipperfield’s vision fits comfortably among the cityscape. The building’s use of setbacks evokes the traditional style of New York’s past, while its fluted transparent glass curtain wall gives it a modern touch without overt flare. Both of these features translate to an overall feeling of lightness that sets it apart from the surrounding dark glass and steel skyscrapers.

Rendering by David Chipperfield Architects

Rendering by David Chipperfield Architects

The array of vertical lines formed by the structural geometry of 665 Fifth Avenue’s envelope emphasize its verticality, as do the high ceilings of its lower floors.

The E and M trains are located directly in front of the building at the 5th Avenue-53rd Street station. The B, D, and F trains are a short walk to the southwest at Rockefeller Center.

It’s unclear when demolition will begin or when the project is expected to finish.

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TFC Horizon
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5 Comments on "YIMBY Checks in on Rolex Headquarters at 665 Fifth Avenue in Midtown"

  1. What is the orange globe at the top. Looks interesting.

  2. It’s a giant Rolex watch face, but to the quiet Swiss mechanism, you won’t hear it! 🤣

  3. Looks derivative of the New Museum by SANAA.

  4. Would have made a classy counterpart to Zaha Hadid’s futuristic 666 next door.

    Alas.

  5. That is a beautiful building. But will it ever rise?

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