Park Tower Penthouse Terrace
New York, NY
A roof terrace brings nature to an urban terrain, forging relationships with surrounding high-rise buildings.
The terrace is situated on the 39th floor of a 1980s mixed-use tower cantilevered over Gordon Bunschaft’s PepsiCo building. The garden is a topography defined by existing and new infrastructures, including window washing winches and insulating and waterproofing layers. The site is transformed into a floating garden. Its constructed ground articulates garden as a contained nature that is free from the traditional oppositions between building and landscape, or city and nature.
To address the site’s lack of both middle ground and middle scale, the spatial focus oscillates between background and foreground, prospect and place. The garden is made up of three elements: a 22’ long fountain crossed by 8” wide flat stepping stones marks the threshold between the apartment interior and the terrace; a planting wall made of ground bronze and scored slate panels demarcates and creates a new horizon at the eastern edge of the terrace; the floating ground-plane of grass, stone, and stainless steel serves as an anchor for the planting wall and as a surface for dining and relaxing.
Steel Fabrication: Milgo Bufkin
The Architectural League, Young Architects Competition, 1994
SF MOMA, “Defining Moments,” 1998
Pages Paysages, “Contained Nature,” 1997
Sotheby’s Domain, “Roof Garden as Urban Retreat,” 1998
Daidolos, “In the Flatland,” 1997
Dictionary of Today’s Landscape Designers, 2003
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