COOKFOX Architects has designed its next version of the sustainable workplace: 510 West 22nd Street, a speculative office building set to rise beside the High Line. While One Bryant Park—the firm’s groundbreaking Platinum LEED tower—distinguished itself on the city skyline with a glacial, shard-like glass profile, 510 responds directly to the neighboring elevated-rail-turned-urban-park with a biophilic approach that seeks to connect tenants with nature.
The building’s predominantly glass curtain wall has dark charcoal-colored metal mullions that reflect the High Line’s steel structure and brise-soleils that reduce glare and mitigate heat loading. Landscaped terraces on the second and seventh floors have timber ceilings that recall the park’s Ipe wood benches. The architects also gave the building a High Line of its own with a rooftop garden complete with mobile planters on train tracks.
Inside, high ceilings, abundant daylight, and an under-floor ventilation system create a pleasing and healthy environment for workers. The architects optimized views to the city and the High Line by cantilevering the floor slabs 15 feet off the columns, making way for unbroken expanses of glass on the perimeter. Operable windows provide access to fresh air and let in the sounds of the birds who live in the High Line’s birch thicket just outside.
As with COOKFOX’s last office tower, 510 will seek a LEED Platinum rating, banking not just on the energy saving measures of its high-performance envelope and efficient mechanical systems, but on the strides it takes in establishing an environment conducive to the health and wellbeing of its human inhabitants. The building’s completion is projected for 2014, though construction will not begin until developer The Albanese Organization secures an anchor tenant.