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MAS Unveils Designs for a New Penn Station and the Next MSG

On May 29th four of New York’s most well-known and respected design firms, Diller Scofidio + Renfro with Josh Sirefman, H3 Hardy Collaboration Architecture, SHoP Architects and Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM) presented their visions for the future of Penn Station, North America’s busiest train station, and Madison Square Garden—the city’s longest standing arena. View video from the design challenge here.

MAS asked each firm to participate in the Design Challenge for a New Penn Station and Madison Square Garden by re‐imagining the cramped and dismal Penn Station as an urban gateway and relocating & reinventing Madison Square Garden (MSG), which now sits atop the station preventing the station’s much needed expansion.  MAS president Vin Cipolla elaborated on the purpose of the event stating, “This Design Challenge is an invitation for the public to get involved in thinking about the possibilities for Penn Station and for the arena. We are deeply appreciative of the creative ideas and stunning opportunities envisioned by these world-class firms.”

Designers created proposals for a striking new MSG complex on sites ranging from immediately adjacent to Penn Station, to a 16-acre site on the west side waterfront. Several firms envisioned the relocated arena as a catalyst for creating a new neighborhood identity centered on entertainment, which would expand tourist and hospitality opportunities.

H3 - 2013 New Penn Design Challenge

H3 Hardy Collaboration Architecture

With the removal of Madison Square Garden, designers were free to imagine a new station- focusing both on its functionality—improving conditions in order to accommodate high speed rail and increased commuter rail service for the tri-state area—and its aesthetics by opening the station up to light and air, making circulation more intuitive as well as incorporating high-end retail and cultural and dining features.

SOM - 2013 New Penn Design Challenge


DS+F - 2013 New Penn Design Challenge

Diller Scofidio + Renfro

All imagined these new buildings as civic anchors, surrounded by high-quality, mixed use development, as well as new parks and amenities. Retail was incorporated into circulation spaces, integrating the station into the surrounding streetscape.  Localized transit networks and greenways were used to connect the currently disparate neighborhood to the rest of Manhattan’s west side.

Shop - 2013 New Penn Design Challenge - public space


After presentations, designers from each firm participated in a panel moderated by New York Times architecture critic Michael Kimmelman, followed by a question and answer period, giving the audience an opportunity to question the designers about their visions.

Mr. Cipolla commended the designer’s work, “They have demonstrated that there are a range of practical and liberating possibilities for an expanded, world-class Penn Station and a great new Madison Square Garden. They have set a brilliant and achievable standard to serve commuters, fans, and the future of Manhattan’s west side and the City itself.”

MAS will continue to advocate for a new station and arena.  Later this month the New York City Council is expected to vote on whether or not to approve MSG’s permit to operate at its current location in perpetuity. MAS along with the Regional Plan Association and a growing number of elected officials, civic organizations, transportation groups, and individuals are advocating for a permit renewal of just 10 more years. Stay informed and learn how you can help create a new Penn Station by visiting