Two decades after the facade work, SOM has returned to this Modernist icon to complete its restoration under the leadership of developers Brookfield Properties and WatermanCLARK who assumed control of the tower in 2020.
Such stewardship of a single building, by one firm over a seven-decade period, is a rarity in the architectural profession.
Alongside Brookfield Properties and WatermanCLARK, and in partnership with the Landmarks Preservation Commission, which made Lever House the city’s first modernist landmark in 1982, SOM has restored the primary public and private spaces to their original glory, and provided key infrastructural upgrades that are significantly improving the building’s energy performance.
This renovation and restoration, completed in 2023, revitalises Lever House and makes it once again Park Avenue’s premier boutique office building.
In the plaza, the pre-existing, non-original paving was in poor condition, and has been fully replaced by a durable, cast-in-place concrete, matching the design of Lever House’s original paving: a series of dark grey surfaces separated by a grid of light grey stripes, which follow the rhythm of the building’s stainless steel columns.
The water-damaged plaster ceiling, which carries from the outdoor plaza into the lobby, has been replaced in kind with new, higher performing plaster.
Throughout the site, the original stainless steel-clad columns, which were damaged over time, are now restored and refinished.
The long black limestone wall – which acts as a backdrop to both the plaza and lobby – has been re-honed, polished, and cleaned.
The white marble, which encloses stair towers within both the plaza and the lobby, has been reset, honed, and repaired.
Inside, the lobby’s original terrazzo flooring has likewise been repaired and refinished.
Together with the new exterior paving, this refurbishment creates a renewed sense of continuity from the outdoor space as tenants and visitors transition to the interior.