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‘Mad Men’: The End of an Era

This Sunday the landmark AMC television series “Mad Men” signs off with its final episode. But just because the show is over, that doesn’t mean you have to say goodbye to Don Draper: he lives on in a custom one-of-a-kind bench installed for the summer in midtown Manattan.

Over the course of seven seasons, viewers have become obsessed with the meticulously detailed world of ad man Draper and his colleagues in the “Golden Age” of advertising in 1960s New York. We caught up with several fans who reflected on the show’s impact—and what just might happen in the last episode—as they visited the Mad Men bench. In the words of one fan, “Unfortunately all things come to an end, but we’ll always have reruns.”

Designed by Pentagram’s Lorenzo Apicella, Michael Bierut and Emily Oberman, this “monument to Mad Men” transforms the iconic graphic of Draper from the show’s opening title sequence into a sleek bench where fans can “drape” like their hero. As one visitor told us, “How often do you get to sit next to Donald Draper?”

The bench is on display outside the Time & Life Building, once the fictional home of Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce, at 1271 Avenue of the Americas (between 50th and 51st Streets) through the summer.

Project Team: Lorenzo Apicella, Michael Bierut and Emily Oberman, partners-in-charge and designers; Jonathan Correira, designer; Matthew Clare, associate and designer; Dragan Skuljevic, designer; Julia Lindpaintner, project coordinator.

Film by Drew Bierut and Tyler Weinberger, Superseed Productions. Music by Jacob Rosati.

New Work: ‘Mad Men’ Monument

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Over the course of seven seasons, the landmark series “Mad Men” has charted the rise of ad man Don Draper in the “Golden Age” of advertising in 1960s New York. Today AMC unveils a special installation that commemorates the show’s impact in the city. Designed by Pentagram’s Lorenzo Apicella, Michael Bierut and Emily Oberman, the monument takes the form of a sleek, elegant bench that features the iconic graphic of Draper from the show’s opening title sequence. Pentagram project coordinator Julia Lindpainter worked closely with AMC and the bench’s fabricator, DCL, to manage the design’s careful execution.

The bench is located outside the Time & Life Building, the fictional home of Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce (changed to Sterling Cooper & Partners in the sixth season), where Draper and fellow characters Roger Sterling, Peggy Olson, Joan Holloway and Peter Campbell work in the series. “Mad Men” creator Matthew Weiner and stars Jon Hamm, Elisabeth Moss, January Jones, Christina Hendricks and John Slattery were on hand today for the sculpture’s unveiling.

The installation coincides with the show’s final seven episodes, which kick off on Sunday, April 5. The bench will be on display in the Time & Life Building Plaza at 1271 Avenue of the Americas (between 50th and 51st Streets) for fans and passersby to enjoy from March 23 through the summer.

One M&T Plaza Pavilion Wins AIA Buffalo/WNY Award

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Each year, the Buffalo/Western New York chapter of the American Institute of Architects presents awards to honor excellence in architectural design. We are proud to announce that Pentagram partner Lorenzo Apicella’s design for the One M&T Plaza Entrance Pavilion has received one of three Honor Awards in the 2014 AIA Buffalo/WNY Design Awards program.

New Work: One M&T Plaza Vestibule

A new entrance vestibule to Minoru Yamasaki’s M&T Bank headquarters in downtown Buffalo has recently been completed to a design by Pentagram partner Lorenzo Apicella.

Located on Washington St., behind a grand banking hall facing a public plaza on Main Street, the vestibule is significantly larger than the original built in 1967. Where narrow exterior stairs previously led to a simple entrance lobby, two wider stairs now lead to two entrance lobbies, seating areas, and secure access controls into the building’s elevator lobby. The materials and details of this larger vestibule draw directly however from those of the original, and its form and siting aim to enhance the original experience of entering the building from the street.

New Work: Robert Welch Store in Bath, UK

Best known for their classic modern silverware designs, Robert Welch have recently opened a new store in Bath, England, with designs by Lorenzo Apicella and his team in San Francisco.

Located in Broad Street, in the heart of Medieval Bath, the store’s interior design language builds on Apicella’s Robert Welch flagship studio store in Chipping Campden, completed in 2009. There, a series of sparsely lit cottage rooms were opened up and connected to a central Design Studio and a story wall featuring the life and work of Robert Welch.

In Bath, the same focal displays are also at the heart of the store, this time scaled to suit a space typical to this part of the city—long and narrow with a busy street on one side and a small public courtyard on the other.