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Renderings courtesy of (VNO / Albanese Organization/ COOKFOX) Renderings courtesy of (VNO / Albanese Organization/ COOKFOX)
Forget Park Avenue, the High Line is this generation’s most sought-after real estate destination for both new apartment and office buildings. While most of the new commercial digs have clustered around the park’s extreme north and south in Hudson Yards and the Meatpacking District, a number of office ventures have strayed in between onto the blocks of West Chelsea.
One of the largest to unfold in the area is Vornado Realty Trust and The Albanese Organization’s 512 West 22nd Street (512W22). The 11-floor 170,000-square-foot speculative office project rises just west of Tenth Ave. and has a unique block-long frontage overlooking the High Line’s “Chelsea Thicket.” The building’s concrete frame recently topped out and it replaces a nondescript 5-floor garage, of which a small percentage of the structure was retained to meet zoning requirements.
512-west-22nd-street-03 High Line-facing elevation of 512W22 (VNO / Albanese Organization)
512W22 (COOKFOX / VNO / Albanese Organization)
The always environmentally-conscious firm of COOKFOX Architects are the designers of the building and shaped a soft-cornered, terra-cotta-banded mass that recalls the nearby Starrett-Lehigh Building and Zaha Hadid’s new condo, 520 West 28th Street. The undulating terra cotta spandrel sections are being produced by Boston Valley Terra Cotta, the company behind the terra cotta pieces at the nearby Fitzroy and 111 West 57th Street. Here, the curvaceous and ribbed panels will be finished in a metallic glaze and seek to contribute a richness and variation to the facade.
Boston Valley Terra Cotta Facade mockup via Boston Valley Terra Cotta
510-West-22nd-04 Looking west from Tenth Ave and West 21st Street (CityRealty)
512-W-22-04 Topped out skeleton of 512W22 (CityRealty)
Differing from the hermetically sealed skyscrapers of Midtown, the building will have operable windows and plenty of outdoor green space. It’s no secret why younger generations prefer these types of work spaces and why companies are willing to shell out big bucks to rent them. 512W22 will feature over 16,000 square feet of accessible outdoor space offering plenty of light and views of the neighborhood. The team says the building's network of private terraces will blur the line between indoor and outdoor working environments and will give employees plenty of chances to interact with each other and the outside world.
"We designed a workplace that was sculpted to extend the High Line into the building, weaving nature through the building with deep landscaped terraces." —Rick Cook, COOKFOX Architects
Inside will be flexible plans with “dramatic” ceiling heights, column-free window expanses, classic mushroom columns and oversized operable windows to offer occupants more direct control of their environment and access to outdoor air. There will be private gardens sculpted into each floor and the 2nd-to-4th floors will have an outdoor staircase to act as a miniature, private version of Rome's Spanish Steps. The open lobby can also act as an event space. The building is pursuing LEED Gold certification and will open sometime next year.
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