SUMMIT One Vanderbilt

Leading a World Class Design Team to Create an Immersive Experience Like No Other

Set atop the tallest commercial skyscraper in Midtown Manhattan (1,401 feet, 427 meters), SUMMIT One Vanderbilt, an observatory high atop Grand Central Terminal, was conceived as an installation that compels you to question your perception of the built environment, the natural world around you, and your sensorial reality. SUMMIT ups the ante on the NYC observatory experience through art installations, glass ledges, and exterior glass-floor elevators. Food and beverages, including cocktails, are available for purchase onsite at Après, located indoor and on the outdoor terrace.


New York


65,000 ft²



TAD Domain


While creating their signature observatory experience, SL Green realized they needed a partner who could serve as a subject matter expert and represent their interests in technical design conversations. TAD was hired late in the project and quickly identified many gaps in the technology and architectural programs and helped to establish requirements, expectations, and a budget for the project. Together with the client and design team, we reprogrammed areas of the observatory, researched, and specified suitable technology solutions, and engaged various consultants, designers, and manufacturers to create sustainable workflows.  

To manage an extensive array of technology systems and vendors, we defined and focused on 4 key technology programs: 

  • Audiovisual, Media & Experimental Lighting 
  • Retail 
  • Marketing, Sales & Operations 
  • Building Systems  

With more than twenty companies contributing to the design team, we set out to create a framework that ensured alignment across the entire project. We developed a cadence of meetings tailored to move the project forward and achieve our technical goals. These measures delivered the project on time and within budget. The project is now open to the public.