4 Gateway Center Renovation Study

Newark, NJ

With major corporations eyeing Newark’s Downtown District—like Mars Wrigley and Prudential Asset Management—many area buildings are directly responding to the resurgence of interest in the area. In the heart of this neighborhood is Gateway Center, a cluster of four buildings joined by a pedestrian concourse of skybridges and shops, at the end of which lies 4 Gateway Center. Here, we designed a live-work program that complements Newark’s renewed energy. By creating multiple common areas, the enhanced design improves the style and security of the building, attracting the tenants that are funneling into the neighborhood.

Connecting 4 Gateway Center to Downtown Newark

The 1988 building is currently surrounded by a landscaped plaza that acts like a moat between the building and the sidewalk. Because of this, there is little access to the building’s ground-floor retail and hospitality amenity spaces, much of which lies vacant. Our first step was to create a more attractive pedestrian experience at ground level. A new grand plaza that features areas for seating, planters, integrated lighting, and a new building canopy, and signage gives 4 Gateway a fresh, contemporary identity. Here, there is space for restaurant seating or taking a break under the trees or the new canopy. Our design introduces new public and private entrances to the building, providing new access points for the reinvigorated restaurant spaces or the revamped, quadruple-height lobby.

Leveraging the Interior Architecture of 4 Gateway Center’s Building Lobby

Inside, we provided two distinct designs that integrate security, greenery, and light within the lobby, a Geometric option and an Organic option. The building’s complex geometry created an interesting opportunity to explore the existing volume and reinterpret the original design.  Both designs respond to what would make the space feel inviting, improve circulation and offer access to the concourse, the building’s second floor, and restaurant/retail spaces.

The Geometric option includes rectangular benching with planters placed at angles to provide seating and integrate greenery. This benching and additional loose seating surround a monolithic, but approachable, security checkpoint made of dark, perforated metal, which is repeated on the upper floors of the interior. These elements are softened by light wood millwork and white cladding, all lit by globe lights hung in a precise geometric pattern.

The Organic option replies in much the same way, but with a more fluid, natural approach. Instead of angles, curves hug amoeba-shaped planters where bamboo can grow in a more natural setting. A green wall draws the eye up though the space, creating a dramatic entrance to the security checkpoint. Curved lighting weaves in and out of the structural columns, adding movement to the space. Millwork covers the lobby’s upper floors and is accented by reclad columns.