We’re really impressed with the thermally modified ash pavers we just installed at the Durst Organization’s 4 Times Square and 1133 Avenue of the Americas.
Serving as a transition between interior space and outdoor landscape, a freestanding pergola serves as a focal point, centering the space and drawing attention to the best features the garden has to offer. When properly implemented, a pergola performs double duty, extending the living space while defining a distinct outdoor space.
As Brooklyn continues to reach upward, its newest denizens demand an aesthetic which marries the past with the present. For the latest buildings, rooftop spaces are not an after-thought but are carefully engineered and planned early in the design phase, often long before there is a semblance of a space to survey.
The primary challenge with common spaces for residential buildings is to provide some level of individual privacy while developing an overall spatial design which will also foster social interaction between users. In order to achieve this balance, smaller conversational spaces which are defined through the rigid face of the wood-clad planters and accented by hearty plantings and provide a diverse mix of seating types from long benches attached to the face of the planters to moveable chairs and tables allowing for maximum flexibility. The smaller conversational spaces take advantage of the views from the outside edges of the roof while the larger common spaces are defined by plant-softened wood fences.
The materials of the space borrow from the buildings context, reclaiming many of the materials which permeated Brooklyn’s industrial heritage. Concrete, steel, aluminum and various fabrics are some of the elements which help to unite the past with the present. Transferring the feel of the sidewalk planting bed to the rooftop is achieved through the raw steel-edged green-roof garden areas which help define the spaces.
The growing trend of sustainable living walls in notable hotels includes one of BTH’s recent projects- creating one of new york’s largest living walls, atop the newly opened Knickerbocker Hotel in NY’s Times Square. The wall, over 1600 square feet of green space, is a mix of Hedera Helix, Parthenocissus and other plants, including seasonal color. It is the largest wall of its kind composed of over 500 individually planted modules composed of recycled plastic that are attached to stainless steel hanging rails. This modular system not only allowed for a very controlled and varied plant design, but also enables individual modules to be easily removed as needed for design changes or maintenance. At the same time, to prevent the modules from being removed unintentionally or from shaking loose, an anti-lift arm, also made of recycled plastic, was implemented. The versatility of the rail system was also key for this project, as the green wall needed to be mounted to two different wall types. The planting medium was selected because it is specifically engineered to allow for peak plant performance. The material absorbs five times its weight in water and facilitates even irrigation, while still remaining light-weight (approximately 40 pounds per cubic foot). Because it is continuous throughout the entire wall, root growth is not limited to smaller individual cells, allowing for stronger and healthier plants. There is also no concern for excess material falling out of the wall, as the sponge-like block fits perfectly into the modules. The wall also features a state of the art computer controlled irrigation system. This innovative system can take advantage of unseasonable warm days during the winter months, irrigating the wall automatically on a warm day in the middle of the winter, for example. This 3 sided wall stands at 15 feet tall by approximately 175 feet long and can only truly be appreciated in person while visiting St. Cloud, The Knickerbocker’s rooftop bar and lounge.