Midtown High Rise

Midtown High Rise Green Roof

New York, NY

Award Winner
New York Green Roofs

Landscape Architect: HMWhite
Architects: Gertler & Wente
Structural & Wind Load Engineers: Urban Tech
Membrane Manufacturer: Kemper System
Lighting Designer: Atelier Lumiere
Carpentry: Riverside Builders

This project was carefully engineered to knit with the building’s infrastructure, to prevent potential wind uplift, accommodate significant weight restrictions, and support a sophisticated, multiseasonal plant palette tolerant of extreme growing conditions. Its primary role as an amenity space for a thriving corporation, combined with its positive ecological impact, redefines what is possible when creating a contemporary terrace garden in a dense urban environment.
— Amy Falder, Partner, New York Green Roofs

A Green Respite for Manhattan Office Workers

Transforming a corporate office building into a lush green oasis in midtown Manhattan, this vegetated roof offers staff of a booming realty company an unusually peaceful respite amidst the constant movement of a bustling city. 7,000 square feet of living roof and integrated decking establishes a buffer between a busy officespace and one of the densest urban environments on the planet. The design provides a visual on ecological succession of a changing landscape as it incorporates a mostly extensive mix of meadow grasses, flowering perennials, and low growing succulents. Observation of seasonal progression is enhanced with a few flowering trees and spring blooming bulbs.

The irrigation design incorporates advanced water conservation practices and technologies keeping the water below the surface of the vegetated roof so that evaporation, wind overspray and mist or surface run-off is mitigated. Water is applied directly to the plant's root zone, where it is most efficiently available for uptake by plant roots.

The project is a wrap-around terrace that exists outside of an owner-occupied commercial office space - all of the employees have views of the vegetated roof from their office windows and access to the green roof for use at their leisure. Staff members are allowed to visit any area of the roof and may choose to lounge on any of the floating decks, each of which is connected via stepping stones that meander through the vegetation. This rolling meadow exists in stark contrast to the pedestal paver hardscapes that exist on the terraces below and above, and it creates a visual landmark that is viewed by thousands of tenants occupying nearby high rises lining 3rd avenue. Located 17 stories above the street in an urban canyon of Midtown Manhattan, the project design accommodated the extreme growing conditions of its surroundings in a windy, concrete and glass jungle. It is anticipated that the roof will not only enhance the experience of its users for years to come, but will also serve as a representation for progressive ecological design in the built-environment, reflecting what we can do make our cities more liveable, efficient, and sustainable.