NEW YORK, NY, USA
CLIENT Matthew A Blesso, Blesso Properties / SIZE 3,100sf / 288 m2 / STATUS Completed in 2007 / DESIGN TEAM Balmori Associates / Joel Sanders Architect / ANDarchitects Architect / R2P Studio / PHOTO CREDIT Mark J.Dye
The project at 684 Broadway explores the interface of built and natural environment of architecture and landscape; not blurring the line between landscape and architecture, but widening it. This thick interface creates the opportunity for new types of spaces. Alternating sheaves of landscape and building on both horizontal and vertical planes create transitions within this widened line. It is a complex interface that is layered – the thicker the line the better – and results in a new spatial entity. Interface becomes a sustainable strategy that aims to maximize biodiversity and sustainable design in this urban site by extending green space both horizontally and vertically within the renovated apartment and exterior roof space. The result, hypernature, is an artificial spectacle of constructed nature.
The interface begins with an interior garden beneath a twenty foot long skylight. Filled with large leaved Elephant Ears and black bamboo, the plants create an ascending green carpet beneath the floating stairs to the roof. Above the delicate bamboo fronds, through a glass partition separating the garden from master bathroom, is visible a green wall planted with euonymus. This improbable swath of vertical vegetation climbs the wall colliding with a second skylight through which is visible the rooftop planting.
Suspended above the sea of grasses is a bi-level ipe deck. On the lower level a small gravel path leads to a look out pod with views over the lower east side, an outdoor shower and on the opposite side of the stair bulkhead, a more private enclave with jacuzzi and sunning deck. Five steps lead to the upper level with an outdoor kitchen and grill lounging space. Opposite the parapet, the bulkhead rises into the sky. Densely planted with stepable plants one can lie on the slope and watch cloud rushing overhead. A staircase leads to the top from which there is a 360 degree view of the Lower East side.