Architects: BKSK Architects
Design Team: Todd Poisson and Harry Kendall
Project Team: William Russell, Eban Singer, Rachel Hoolahan, and Gerry Ende
Client: The Roe Corporation
Structural and Civil Engineers: Ysrael A. Seinuk, P.C.
Passive House Consultants: ZeroEnergy Design
Landscape Architects: Future Green Studio
The design for a new 9-story mixed-use residential and retail building at 466 Columbus will feature a modern interpretation of traditional district typology on Manhattan’s Upper West Side, designed to meet Passive House certification criteria. Architecture and interiors were designed cohesively by a single design team – the warm materials, modern detailing and concepts of screening are carried throughout, with both centered on the contemporary heart of the building; the cleverly disguised, triple-glazed, heroic glass windows.
The design instills a strong sense of sustainability and stewardship with its residents. To create a building that would be a ‘supporting player’ to life on the Upper West Side, the team closely studied the surrounding neighborhood, current ecological trends, and the expectations that come with contemporary New York living.
Intended to dialogue directly with the Upper West Side district typology, the building’s design drew inspiration from the architectural traditions of sculptural brick and terra cotta details, planes of masonry, and robust cornices.
In that tradition, 466 Columbus is designed of layers of masonry – the brick piers are interwoven with horizontal terra cotta baguettes that slip past to create a suspended terra cotta rain screen that conceals large, contemporary windows, framing legible openings from below that mirror the punched windows of adjacent tenement buildings. Inside, the horizontal screening of the terra cotta rain screen evokes a modern serene quality and the layers of masonry give way to contemporary wood.
Staved wood transoms above the windows create a modern interpretation of traditional townhouse shutters, and pull the horizontal lines of the rain screen into the space. At the 8th floor, the street wall sets back to a duplex penthouse with a terraced loggia.
The second floor of the penthouse is further set back and hidden from street view, opening to a private green roof atop a commanding cornice that echoes district typologies. The top two floors are further defined on the façade by a ribbed terra cotta band, and subtle tone shift in masonry.
Designed to achieve the rigorous standards of Passive House certification, mechanical systems meet exceptional energy efficiency and low energy use requirements. Filtered fresh air is delivered to all rooms within all apartments, and every apartment has views or access to green space.
A second-floor courtyard invites active participation from all units, with overlooking terraces and window views from above, and private access from the adjacent apartment.
The penthouse features a private, intensive green roof terrace, which also extends atop the building’s prominent cornice, with openings to the loggia terrace below, creating a hanging garden connection between the 2 floors of the penthouse duplex.
A major goal of the project is to be considered a successful model of an “urban steward project” as a result of responsible civic and environmental design, and to serve as a model for future sustainable development in New York City.