West Village’s Best Rooftop View
June 24, 2011
The Beatles once sang, “Everybody’s green, ‘cause I’m the one who won your love.” This roof garden will inspire similar levels of envy or, perhaps, schadenfreude. If you’re reading this post, your face has already taken on some shade of Matisse-like green (though you may prefer Marvel).
Greenwich Village Roof Garden by GRAFTWORKS is a small, 1,100 square foot roof garden atop a five-story 19th-century brownstone in Greenwich Village (another few keywords to invoke the green-eyed monster). The garden, which is actually more like a deck, commands views and is equipped with amenities few Manhattanites will ever enjoy from the respite of their living spaces.
The project’s design derives its form from New York’s many water towers. As the architects write: “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. 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.”
The modularity of this strip system affords the deck an openness that would otherwise become cluttered by furniture or planters. GRAFTWORKS explains: “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.”
The strips curl at the edges of the roof to reveal planting furrows and act as safety barriers, undulate upwards to form lounge seating, and roll up and over the façade, fashioning a canopy with a framed view of the Empire State Building. The deck is even equipped with water sprays that are placed at various points in between the wood strips, creating a refreshing mist to keep you cool throughout the summer months. No fair.