1020 Grand Concourse

1020 Grand Concourse, AKA Executive Towers, is a 20 stories apartment building designed by Philip Birnbaum (1907-1996) in 1959 and completed in 1963. Birnbaum was a prolific apartment building architect in New York City well known for his efficient apartment layouts and also his eccentric lobby designs.

The building is included in the Grand Concourse Historic District: it has a commanding presence on the Grand Concourse, with its curving balconies and idiosyncratic entrance canopies striking a fanciful note on the neutral background of the long white brick façade. The elaborate canopies and colored glass mosaics at the entry are a good introduction to the ground floor lobby and the ensemble connotes pleasure and cheerful extravagance.

Françoise Bollack Architects was retained to prepare a master plan for the renovation of the lobby to bring back its original WOW effect, to create a better daily experience for the residents, enhances apartment values and set the appropriate tone for the building.

We started with researching the building’s history and its design, with a careful examination of the lobby’s existing condition and of its design: we met with the committee to discuss functional requirements (security, storage, etc.), gather residents’ memories, and review recommendations in progress.

Our recommendations call for a combination of restoration and new elements working within the logic of the original design: new frameless glass entry doors, a new doorman & security desk in the vestibule, new storage in currently unused space will improve the look and the functioning of the entry.

We include work that can be implemented quickly and will result in immediate improvements as well as longer term measures. The master plan also includes an estimated budget and a time line for implementation: it is illustrated with photos and colored renderings of the proposal.