West 8 founder Adriaan Geuze, reveals the beauty behind his landscape design of a 1-acre garden for One Manhattan Square. The garden will feature seasonal and evergreen natives, across several unique garden spaces.
urrently under construction in New York’s lower east side, the residential tower ‘One Manhattan Square’ will incorporate a 1-acre private garden that will incorporate several landscape settings.
The design from West 8 shows the landscapes will range from barbecue areas, romantic fire pits, Japanese tea houses, and tree houses. All of these areas will incorporate a variety of native and non-native vegetation that will set the scene with evergreen or seasons foliage.
Designer Adriaan Geuze says his design reflects the team's desire to incorporate the natural world within this residential space. “We wanted to bring the splendour of the natural world to the residents of One Manhattan Square, and to use this palette to create spaces of different sizes and characters for a variety of recreational activities and socialising.”
In what is set to be one of the largest private gardens in New York City, the garden will rise from street level and up into the storeys of the tower. At the street level, a grand public staircase with granite steps will rise from the surrounding plaza that contains circular planters and sculpted seat edges.
The Japanese tea garden will cap the landscape design, located at the rear of the building this space will use a wooden pavilion and cherry blossoms to create a sense of tranquility and seasonal atmosphere. In spring, the blooming of the cherry blossom trees which are to feature in this space, will be a stunning draw card for residents and visitors.
Over the remainder of the building and ground floor space, residents will have access to social courtyards for barbecues and parties, secluded outdoor fireplaces, play spaces for the children, and large swaths of green vegetation surrounding ramps with stone benches for respite.
“We sought to create several distinct landscape atmospheres — formal courtyards, romantic azalea gardens, and wild sumac slopes. Within each of these landscapes the team created rooms and pockets for different rest and recreational opportunities,” said Geuze.
Not only will residents have plenty of spaces to look for beautiful views within One Manhattan Square, looking out from the building, residents will have views of the Manhattan Bridge and the East River. These views have been a focal point in the design of the garden spaces, with West 8 paying particular attention to the challenges the river presented their landscapes design process.
Geuze explained: “This is a complicated site with a lot of complexity and there are many players that have come together to produce the final design. The site’s proximity to the East River and the Manhattan Bridge is an amazing amenity for views and breezes. However, the Bridge and the FDR [east river drive] do create a significant amount of noise, and the breezes coming off of the east river can sometimes be quite strong. These factors needed to be mitigated in the design, which we did by lining the entire roof garden in evergreen hedges, with overlook moments provided in key places throughout the design. These hedges provide a dignified green edge to the interior garden spaces, while partially shielding them from the wind and noises coming off the surrounding cityscape.”
Finally, when Geuze discussed his choice of plants and tree life that will be incorporated into the several landscapes, he noted the use of evergreen and seasonal varieties in enhancing the design of the setting.
“Seasonality is important in garden design, and because this is a dense and active residence year-round, our garden designs had to be beautiful and welcoming in all seasons. Our approach relied heavily on plants to provide this seasonal interest. There are evergreen hedges, ground covers, and ornamental pines throughout the project that will be an amazing contrast to the snowy winters of NYC.”
“In the spring, the cherry trees and azaleas will be the showstoppers with their colourful blooms. In the middle of summer, the sumac and birch trees will render this rooftop a verdant green oasis. Sumac turns the brightest red in the fall, which will complement the yellows of the birch trees – and the red berries of the sumac persist into winter alongside the beautiful texture of the peeling birch bark.”
Once completed, the several landscapes and spaces that make up the One Manhattan Square tower will no doubt be enjoyed immensely by residents and their lucky visitors for many seasons to come.