Assouline creates an exclusive luxury library

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Assouline is known for publishing luxury books, some of which have sold for close to $ 5,000. But the publisher is creating something even more exclusive: a private library lounge in 550 Madison that only renters can access.

The unique partnership is the first of its kind for Assouline and will feature book selections inspired by the landmark tower itself. In addition, there will be a curation section on plants and greenery as it pays homage to the public gardens at the lobby level. The art and culture committee reflects what is found in the building’s interior space as well as architecture, history and sustainability books.

These themes will consist of the publisher’s own titles such as Assouline’s special edition book Four Seasons Special Edition. These limited edition copies are printed on specially textured paper and come in a luxury cloth bound. In addition, there will be a curation of external books, special editions, letters and vintage board games.

“As we continue to share our passion for beauty and culture through our books, it’s just as satisfying to be able to create moods that transport others into our unique lens,” Alex Assouline told me. “We are so excited to partner with 550 Madison to bring a sense of luxury and creativity to their newly developed space while providing a sophisticated oasis for renters to enjoy.”

In addition to curing the collection, Assouline also cured the design for the space. It included hand-picked library accessories and “a variety of specialty items” all to help “renters regain a sense of calm from their busy days.” Reproductions reveal warm wooden floors and walls lined with bookshelves, cozy reading corners and scattered tables and chairs with a modern atmosphere from the middle of the century. Large illustrations, sleek lighting and a large conference table complete the space.


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The exclusive library is just one feature of the renovated 850,000-square-foot building designed by Philip Johnson and John Burgee. When completed in 1984, the 550 Madison was already a prime example of postmodernist architecture with the “Chippendale” top standing out on the New York City skyline. It was later acquired by the Olayan Group in 2016 and became NYC’s youngest landmark in 2018. Award-winning architecture and design firm Rockwell Group designed 550 Madison’s highly curated facilities, including the library.

It is now given a new life and moved for the first time to a multi-storey building. The interior renovation will make the office tower the only LEED Platinum and WELL Gold certified building in the Plaza District. In addition, renters will have the opportunity to enjoy city views in all directions, river-to-river views, two monumental floor-to-ceiling works of art by Dorothea Rockburne and offices overlooking Central Park. And this fall, the office building will have a Club level with amenities, including the Assouline Library.

“The completely remodeled 550 Madison represents state-of-the-art office space that is primarily driven by a hospitable approach and is generally reserved for luxury housing and hotel deals,” said Erik Horvat, CEO and Chief Real Estate Officer at Olayan America. “This partnership with Assouline is an example of our commitment to creating forward-looking, unique work areas that enhance daily work experience and ultimately support employee engagement, job satisfaction and productivity.”

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