Olayan Group and Snøhetta have held a ceremony with elected officials and city leaders to open a new, half-acre public garden at 550 Madison Avenue between 55th and 56th streets in Manhattan. The opening of the Garden, the first new green space in Midtown in decades, comes as Olayan completes the repositioning of the iconic 550 Madison Avenue office tower in New York City’s youngest landmark.Snøhetta served as design architect for the repositioning of the tower as well as landscape architect for the new Garden.Designed by Snøhetta, the Garden is located adjacent to 550 Madison in the location of a formerly enclosed mid-block passageway. The garden is substantially larger than other local public spaces, and welcomes area workers, residents and visitors with abundant seating, 48 trees, 200 shrubs, 6,300 bulb plants, 10,000 herbaceous understory plants, gender inclusive public restrooms and three kiosks with food and beverage offerings.Built around a tranquil water feature and five sections centered on different focal structures, the 21,300-square foot garden is nearly twice the size of a previous public space in the same location. The garden’s bloom calendar is carefully timed for plant species to offer a wide range of colorful hues, from pink to purple, blue and yellow, at different blooming dates from February to October each year.Distinct, “upland,” “lowland” and “sheltered” garden sections feature tree-filled backdrops and shrub skirts, drawing inspiration from Northeastern mountain vegetation ranging from fine-textured and airy to thick luxuriant foliage.Mountain Rosebay, Smooth Hydrangea and Bottlebrush Buckeye fill the garden’s shrub skirt, with a tree assortment including Yellowwood, Sweetbay Magnolia and River Birch. Planters host a diversity of regional native species, from Soloman’s Seal, Goatsbeard and Black Cohosh to Coral Bell and Sword Fern.The 41-story, 850,000-square-foot 550 Madison began as a single-tenant headquarters for AT&T when it opened in 1984. The building’s new garden is part of a six-year effort by Olayan to reimaginethe high-rise – New York City’s youngest historic landmark – with wellness initiatives, sustainability programs and more than 30,000 square feet of luxury amenities.