Hells Kitchen Garden Courts
New York, New York
The landscapes provide exterior community spaces that stimulate social interaction and infuse the development with a slice of nature as an antidote to the stark and infrastructural character of southwest Hell’s Kitchen. Public open space readily accessible to the project site is at one of the City’s lowest percentages with a ½ mile journey to the River’s edge and nearly 2 miles to Central Park. The garden spaces become unexpected verdant oases offering relief from the contextual “concrete jungle.”
A bi-level garden court at the center of the development is visually and physically inescapable from the lobby and amenity lounges and spaces. The two rooftop terraces capitalize on spectacular unobstructed views to the Hudson River; with the north terrace dedicated to dining and entertaining with separate kitchens and dining pods, and the south terrace featuring lounging areas for large gatherings or quieter moments within an unparalleled cityscape setting. The project directive was to create, with a limited budget, living roof designs over roof structures with modest loading capacities. Top of slab elevations had to meet adjacent finished floors – requiring creativity to achieve growing medium depths to support planting systems. Shallow growing medium depths coupled with the garden court’s low light levels and the rooftop terraces’ high wind levels, significantly narrowed plant selection possibilities.
The garden court is an abstracted woodland landscape modulated to support public assembly and private gathering. Its design knits a woodland planting framework within a complex building infrastructure to blur the separation between inside and outside. The rooftop terraces’ visual connectedness to the River inspired a resilient native Hudson River palisade plant palette. The planting design was developed to achieve an immediate “mature” landscape appearance while reconciling long term horticultural management and its operational costs. Units overlooking the gardens command 15%-20% more in value.
Landscape Architect: HMWhite
Architect: Cetra/Ruddy Inc.
Structural Engineer: DeSimone Consulting Engineers
MEP Engineer: Dagher Engineering
Lighting Design: One Lux Studio
Irrigation: WC3 Design
Landscape Contractor: Let It Grow Inc.