West 9th Street
New York, NY

The project was developed as a 1,100 s.f. roof garden and terrace on top of a five story 1850’s brownstone in Greenwich Village. The program brief included requirements for seating, planting boxes, a canopy, and an outdoor shower along with the need to replace the roof, parapets, and the renovation of the existing stair bulkhead.

With the identity of the downtown roofscape associated with the wood waters that dot the skyline, a strategy was developed to adapt the water tower’s material and geometric qualities to the program of the roof garden. To generate the geometry of the deck, the water tower’s slatted wood form is conceptually laid on its side, sliced open, and partially unfurled. Instead of adding discreet pieces of furniture, all of the programmatic components are built-in, with the specific requirements of each accommodated by tailoring a 2’-3” module or “ribbon” determined by proportions of the body. A new landscape surface is then created on the roof out of six parallel strips that organize the elements of the program into zones for different activities. At the south side of roof, the ends of the ribbons are ruled and curled to make room for planting “furrows” that also double as a safety barrier. In the midsection of the roof, three of the ribbons undulate vertically to become chaise longues at varying heights. Grouped together at the existing stair bulkhead, the ribbons roll up and over the façade to become a canopy that accommodates an outdoor shower with a framed view of the Empire State Building to the north.

The structure of the deck is supported by a combination of off-the-shelf and field fabricated pressure treated glu-lam beams mounted to the building’s party walls. The wood decking is knotty cedar with painted marine plywood sides.