Our client, a downtown co-op building’s board, approached us as they were undergoing on several capital improvements at their property. The building had just completed a large equipment renovation of their roof space as they retrofitted the HVAC systems, while also installing a new roof membrane – both at great cost. The board brought us in to design, budget, and install a communal rooftop garden. However, due to the other projects, funds for the garden were limited and we were tasked with ways to maximize value and contain the budget all while delivering a beautiful outdoor space.
We worked closely with the co-op board to develop a contemporary design that provided the roof-area a multiplicity of spaces on what was a relatively small usable footprint. In addition to being mindful of cost we also had to be extremely mindful of the historic qualities of the building. Like many TriBeCa buildings Laight St had been constructed over a century ago with weaker structural elements. We developed a low weight gravel bed and sun deck to lessen weight loading on specific areas of the building’s structure while providing a beautiful space to sit and view an unobstructed vista of Lower Manhattan. We also designed light weight, cedar screening to visually and acoustically conceal large HVAC equipment. The design incorporated a cedar pergola to provide a sheltered, cozy area to sit and eat with friends. Finally, we created a space for grilling, which was lined with beautiful lush grasses to soften the space and add a vibrant hue of green. The design was accented with flourishes of green and wood detailing.
The project was a balancing act of meeting a client’s design needs, budget, timeline, and building requirements. The Laight Street design is a showcase for the possibilities of design build.