The terrace landscape at 250 West 55th Street occupies the third floor of a new corporate office tower designed by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill. Its design considered not only how the space might be occupied, but also how it might become a visual amenity for the higher floors of the tower and its urban context. The design has attained LEED Gold certification by making provisions for stormwater management, reductions in the urban heat island effect, and the use of recycled materials.
The design embraces SOM’s minimalist design of the tower, juxtaposing natural plant material with its stark materiality of glass and steel. A deck is placed amidst a monolithic sculpted meadow of low grasses and birch trees, an unaltered piece of nature with the dynamic movement of grasses dancing in the wind. When viewed from inside the space, the deck appears as an island embraced by nature, the grasses adding a tactile quality to the user’s experience. As seen from the street, an airy canopy of birch trees provides a natural foil to the reflective quality of the façade.
The design is a strong, simple gesture that allows the terrace to create a sense of escape from daily office activity, whether one looks into the meadow from above or experiences the meadow from within. The contrast of materiality between the landform and the building’s façade creates a solution that is powerful yet understated, minimal yet dynamic, whimsical yet elegant and to be enjoyed for years to come.
SWA provided urban design and overall conceptual landscape architectural design for this mixed-use project including condominium buildings with shops, restaurants and storefronts at street level, a waterfront promenade, a marina, parks and inner building courtyards, and pedestrian-oriented pathways linking the Marinaside Crescent Road and surrounding streets. ...
Busan Lotte Tower
Busan Lotte World is an extraordinary mixed-use destination for residential, office, hotel, shopping, entertainment, and tourism and includes one of the tallest buildings in the world at 107 stories. The SOM designed tower is composed of four buildings that connect to each other internally via a covered arcade.
The landscape strikes a dramatic pose in t...
Osaka World Trade Center
The World Trade Center Building, also known as Cosmos Tower, is the centerpiece of Cosmos City, a mixed-use development along Osaka’s harborfront. The tower’s base is dedicated to public spaces, including a major retail center that, together with the adjoining Asian Trading Center, attracts visitors, office workers and shoppers. The public open spaces consist ...
Samsung R&D Campus
Comprised of six buildings on two adjacent parcels in the Umyeon neighborhood of Seoul, South Korea, the Samsung R+D design delivers on a complex program requiring a low maintenance landscape that provides restorative outdoor spaces at a variety of scales, visually unity for the campus and an enhancement of safety and security.
Site design focused on th...