540 Madison

Rediscovering a Historic Gem

540 Madison Avenue is a 39-story, 291,000 SF Class-A office building in New York City situated in the Midtown neighborhood at the corner of Madison Avenue and East 55th Street. Originally built in 1970, Vocon worked with the DivcoWest team to complete a lobby refresh and create the “Water Tower Lounge,” a duplex conferencing, collaborating and convening amenity space that features a secret stair and celebrates the building’s original water tower. The softly curated palette and organic details embody the new, “fresh collegiality” persona, bringing life back to this classically designed building.

The lobby refresh was driven by smart capital investments and creative use of unused storage space while paying homage to the original materials. The design team meticulously carved out a niche lounge for both tenants and guests to “rest” while they take a call or wait to be checked in. This boutique seating area is a soft juxtaposition to the hard materials throughout the rest of the lobby. In addition to the re-designed reception desk and upgraded wood panels throughout, the design team had the opportunity to create a hospitality offering that now services tenants throughout the workday. This offering includes a counter that is constantly stocked with light snacks and beverages, a couple of clusters of elegant furnishings and a wonderful selection of artwork that draws the eye through the space.

The designated amenity space on the eleventh and twelfth floors of 540 Madison presented a unique challenge. The Vocon team pushed boundaries and re-imaged mechanical space as a “hidden stair”  that would connect the two floors, adding to the overall tenant experience. Also, rather than removing the existing water tower on the twelfth floor, the design team decided to restore and incorporate this “old New York”  feature. Consequently, the 540 Madison Avenue amenity space was named “The Water Tower Lounge” and features a comprehensive mix of luxury amenities.


New York, NY

Project Size

12,000 SF

Completion Date