In Landmarked Empire State Building, Patcraft Helps M Moser Solve Flooring Design Challenges
A renovation directly above the double height lobby meant significant flooring decisions for a new communal space at LinkedIn
When M Moser Associates embarked on a renovation of several floors inside New York City’s Empire State Building for LinkedIn’s new office spaces, some unanticipated and distinct design challenges came to light, particularly within the floors themselves. That’s when M Moser turned to flooring solutions provider, Patcraft, to provide products for a floor installation that would prove more exacting than anticipated.
Last year, Linkedin unveiled an extensive renovation of the skyscraper’s third story, now a communal meeting space with broadcast studio, reception, workspace, and a food hall and event space spanning half a city block; large enough to connect all of Linkedin’s daily staff and visitors.
During the third story’s redevelopment, M Moser discovered the challenges inherent in altering the floors of a landmarked building. It turned out that a double height lobby directly below the new third floor space prevented them from carrying out the design as initially planned. But a new floor installation allowed the design team to overcome what for a moment seemed like an onerous obstacle.
“The floor directly below [the third floor] is the double height entry for the building, and it has a landmarked golden leaf ceiling,” said Charlton Hutton, a senior associate and designer at M Moser. “We were given a plan of our story by the landlord, and it had a huge no-fly zone showing all the parts of the floor we weren’t allowed to touch. That was tough because our design for the food service area required over 300 penetrations in the floor.”
To solve the problem, the team decided to elevate the floor. They enlisted Patcraft to supply special LVT (luxury vinyl tile) flooring panels, which were placed with delicacy and surgical precision.
Along with exposed columns, elegant signage designed by Gensler, and an overall pared-back aesthetic, the flooring was used to emphasize the building’s industrial heritage. Patcraft provided faceted Wood Planx in six different colors from its Mixed Material Collection for the elevator lobby, and original terrazzo and concrete floors elsewhere. Different colors and patterns were used throughout, including a herringbone effect that evokes the building’s famous ground floor lobby entrance.
“We chose a supplier who creates very tactile materials that we could use to represent the building’s history,” Hutton said. “We fused these elements with a more modern architectural approach elsewhere to create a warm, shared space that makes people feel good and increases productivity for the client.”
“From the moment it was built, the Empire State was an icon in ingenuity; much more than bricks and mortar,” he continued. “[But] no matter how iconic and inspiring the building – and I was pinching myself every day to be on a project in the Empire State Building – it’s this type of interior design thinking that really makes people feel better. Ultimately, you have to create a space that feels human.”