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Friday, March 27, 2009

Clinton Park, New York, United States

Mixed-use block provides horse, car and human housing in central Manhattan

Located at the western edge of Midtown Manhattan, the Clinton Park mixed-use development, currently in the first stages of construction, will occupy more than half of a city block with 1.3 million sq ft of commercial and residential programs.

Designed by Enrique Norten and Ten Arquitectos, the building fills a void in the urban fabric by integrating multiple commercial uses at the base and providing 900 housing units in the 27 floors above. The base building will include a 50,000 sq-ft auto showroom fronting 11th Avenue with 250,000 sq ft of service floors below grade, a 30,000 sq-ft horse stable for the NYPD Mounted Police, a 7,500 square-foot neighborhood market, a 30,000 square-foot health club, and 200 parking spaces.

The overall massing of the project slopes up and away from Clinton Park, starting at 96 feet along 11th Avenue and climbing up to 348 feet at the middle of the residential block; this height transition negotiates two very dissimilar urban scales: the flat, horizontal one of the park located to the west of 11th Avenue and the vertical, windowless structure of the telephone switching tower to the east of the site.

Securing light and air for a great majority of apartment units, the double loaded corridor shifts diagonally across the site in a unique orientation to the Manhattan grid, reducing the building’s mass adjacent to the neighboring buildings.

Each floor steps up from the one below, allowing for unobstructed views to the park and Hudson River and providing private roof terraces with green roofs on every floor. A varied treatment of street walls and interior facades creates a solid exterior with smaller openings along the street edges of the building, while lighter facades skin the building where the form pulls away from the street. This language of interior and exterior makes reference to the historic court spaces of New York City housing.

The building’s mirrored structure introduces the creation of two garden terraces, a unique green feature among the city’s urban grid. The gardens and the green roofs on each floor introduce a refreshing sense of proximity to nature into the otherwise massive structure.
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