Former Pepsi-Cola Corporation Headquarters – 500 Park Avenue

Pepsi-Cola Corporation World Headquarters
Pepsi
Pepsi-Cola Corporation World Headquarters
  • Client PepsiCo., Inc.
  • Expertise Commercial
  • Region North America
  • Location New York, New York, United States

Upon completion in 1960, this mid-century icon demonstrated how modern design could transform the image and identity of a brand.

Project Facts
  • Completion Year 1960
  • Design Finish Year 1958
  • Size Site Area: 12,500 square feet Number of Stories: 11 Building Gross Area: 142,000 square feet
  • Awards
    1964, Albert S. Bard Award for Excellence in Architecture and Urban Design, City Club of New York 1960, Building of the Year Award, Municipal Art Society of New York 1961, First Honor Award, American Institute of Architects (AIA)
  • Collaborators
    Bolt Beranek & Newman Slocum & Fuller Severud-Elstad-Krueger Associates Fischback & Moore, Inc. Manning & Lewis
Project Facts
  • Completion Year 1960
  • Design Finish Year 1958
  • Size Site Area: 12,500 square feet Number of Stories: 11 Building Gross Area: 142,000 square feet
  • Awards
    1964, Albert S. Bard Award for Excellence in Architecture and Urban Design, City Club of New York 1960, Building of the Year Award, Municipal Art Society of New York 1961, First Honor Award, American Institute of Architects (AIA)
  • Collaborators
    Bolt Beranek & Newman Slocum & Fuller Severud-Elstad-Krueger Associates Fischback & Moore, Inc. Manning & Lewis

Radical simplicity

Designed to serve as the world headquarters of the growing Pepsi-Cola corporation, the structure consists of a pristine glass-and-aluminum volume with massive, 9-by-15-foot window panes set against a dark granite service core that visually separates the building offices from its adjacent neighbors. The result is a technical tour de force and a powerful symbol of the client’s transformation into a leading global brand.

Located on a corner lot fronting Park Avenue in Midtown Manhattan, the building stands just 11 stories tall in a neighborhood famed for its skyscrapers. Nonetheless, its radical transparency and simplicity have made it an enduring icon and earned it a place in the canon of modern architecture.

Exemplifying International Style principles, the building plan maximizes flexibility and spatially defines differing internal programs. The minimalist interiors, executed in quality materials and featuring flexible, reconfigurable floor plates and stone-clad public spaces, signaled to employees the company’s emphasis on modernizing its image and embracing new efficiencies. The glass curtain wall and a custom fluorescent lighting system flood the offices with light throughout the day.

At ground level, the glass walls of the lobby are set back from the upper structure, creating space for a landscaped terrace that forms a bridge between the busy sidewalk and the calm environment within. Above, the offices are spacious and unobstructed except for the main columns which define the facade. The structure consists of steel columns (with concrete fireproofing) and reinforced concrete slabs. The curtain wall’s spandrels and mullions are made of aluminum.

Pepsi
© Ezra Stoller | Esto

Returning to a landmark

In 2016, SOM was asked to take on the first major interior design intervention since the building was completed. The result is a contemporary office space for a new tenant that echoes the timeless ethos and simplicity of the original design. The workspace inside what is now known as 500 Park Avenue is arranged to respond to the building’s geometry and structural module, capitalizing on daylight and views and relating the new interior finishes to the historic envelope. Materials are carefully chosen and their application is purposeful, maintaining the building’s economy of finish and ensuring that the new interiors will last long into the future.

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