The Jacob K. Javits Convention Center project in New York included renovations to existing space and new construction, as well as an assessment of the existing building. The first phase of the project increased exhibit and meeting room space to approximately 1.3 million square feet, thus enabling it to host virtually any convention or trade show. The gross square area of Phase I was in excess of 4 million square feet.
The agreed concept design maximized the view across the Hudson River as far as possible, while retaining the existing zoning. It also retained the principal highway running parallel to the Hudson River (12th Avenue) and key access for users of the Center via the community area of 11th Avenue was the optimum approach in urban planning terms. It also allowed the design to incorporate a new area of open public space on the corner of 11th Avenue and West 40th Street which helps draw people towards the waterfront and define the entrances to the river. It was an approach which ensured that connectivity between the city and the waterfront was preserved, which would have been significantly compromised if the existing configuration were reversed.
As well as maximizing the use of the existing site and building, the concept design also represented a cost-effective approach in terms of resources and timescales, while delivering a state-of-the-art, fully functional international convention center of which the people of New York can be proud. Like the silhouette of cruise ships appearing between Manhattan skyscrapers as they dock from their transatlantic voyage, the outline of the large roof creates an immediately identifiable public image of the project. This project achieved LEED Green Building Rating System “Silver” status.