Open House New York Launches Annual Festival at The Olayan Group’s 550 Garden

Citywide Festival Invites New Yorkers to Explore 350+ Places
Across the Five Boroughs—All for Free

The Olayan Group and Open House New York will hold a Launch Party in the 550 Madison Garden to kick off Open House New York Weekend (OHNY Weekend), an annual five-borough festival offering more than 350 ways for the public to unlock the city from October 20-22.

Since 2003, OHNY Weekend has made it possible for hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers to participate in a shared experience across New York City through behind-the-scenes tours led by architects, engineers, designers, preservationists, historians, community advocates, curators and other experts.

The 550 Garden is the largest green space to be built in East Midtown in decades, and will serve as a “Weekend Hub” for OHNY, offering festival information and recommendations. The 550 Garden is a critical part of a multi-year effort by The Olayan Group to reposition the iconic 550 Madison Avenue office tower, New York City’s youngest landmarked building, with wellness initiatives, sustainability programs and more than 30,000 square feet of amenities.

The 2023 OHNY Weekend lineup includes architect-led tours of arts and cultural spaces, including 550 Madison’s lobby and club level spaces.

Gensler reimagined 550 Madison’s lobby to accentuate the character of the building with a minimalist design that remains referential to Philip Johnson’s original architecture. A soaring multi-story arched window floods the lobby’s monumental centerpiece art installation – Alicja Kwade’s “Solid Sky” – with light.

The Arch, a Rockwell Group-designed club level space, creates a new paradigm for the workday with holistic amenities grounded in original architectural and design details. Communal spaces include The Grand Hall, a Library, Hearth Room, Screening Room and the Billiards Room. Artwork from 14 notable women artists from around the world is featured throughout the floor.

“New York City is an endlessly fascinating city, in large part due to its incredible diversity of spaces, infrastructure, and architectural icons,” said Erik Horvat, Head of Real Estate at Olayan America. “As New York City’s youngest landmark, it is an honor for 550 Madison to participate in OHNY’s program to unlock the city for all New Yorkers.”

“Nothing reflects the dynamism and diversity of New York quite like OHNY Weekend. And nothing rivals the experience of exploring and discovering the city alongside thousands of New Yorkers and visitors from around the world,” said Pamela Puchalski, executive director of Open House New York. “By inviting the public to explore projects across all corners of the city, this festival embraces the power of place—from neighborhood anchors and bridges and tunnels to historic landmarks and modern skyscrapers.”

This year’s OHNY Weekend is 100% free to the public. Entry for limited-capacity places is via a ticketed lottery that opens Tuesday, October 10 at 9am; lottery entries must be submitted by Thursday, October 12 at 9am. More than 175 locations are Open Access—with no tickets required.

About 550 Madison

Designed by architects Philip Johnson and John Burgee, 550 Madison Avenue is one of the city’s most recognizable architectural masterworks – a postmodern gem known for its distinctive “Chippendale” curved roof pediment and pink granite façade. The Olayan Group has led a comprehensive revitalization effort of this Landmarked, 850,000-square-foot office tower, including a new half-acre public garden, extraordinary tenant-only club-level amenity and wellness spaces, and extensive air quality and sustainability initiatives. The project transformed the single-tenant tower into a contemporary multi-tenant property that has attracted world-class tenants, including international luxury design brand Hermès, global insurance leader Chubb and private equity firm Corsair Capital.

Learn more about 550 Madison and its renovation at: www.550madison.com.

About The Olayan Group 

The Olayan Group is a family-owned, multinational enterprise with an actively managed portfolio of international investments and diverse commercial and industrial operations. Originating in 1947, the Group today has offices in Vaduz, Athens, London, Luxembourg, Riyadh, Singapore and New York, where Olayan has had a continuous presence for more than 50 years. Investing both directly and in partnership with leading developers, the Group has a diverse real estate portfolio that includes commercial, residential, and mixed-use properties.

Learn more about The Olayan Group at: www.olayan.com.


Media Contact: Shea Communications LLC

George Shea, (917) 584-0988, [email protected]
Allison O’Donnell, (212) 627-5766, [email protected]