Manhattan Outdoor Life 緑のテラス


We have a project which is under construction in Midtown Manhattan located near the top floor of the building that has a 180 degree panorama. The client loves this view and decided to keep it but make his apartment larger by making it into a duplex instead of moving somewhere else. He waited until the apartment above was for sale and available to buy.  A big opening was made in the concrete floor and a new stair case will be inserted to connect the two floors. From his apartment you can see the woods  of the United Nations grounds, the East River, Roosevelt Island and Long Island. It is understandable why he wants to keep living here.




In a previous post we wrote that many people enjoy outdoor life on their roofs. The photos that we showed were all looking up from the street, but now we can see the terraces at the same level. For his close view you see so many roof terraces with many plants.  The neighborhood is almost all residential even in this commercial area. The old zoning regulated the height of the buildings and dictated their shape which required set backs to allow light into the streets, ending up with a lot of setbacks. Terraces were a lucky byproduct of that setback.



The current zoning regulations  no longer  lead to this. Mid Manhattan is getting taller and taller, filled with straight-up extruded high-rises. Terraces are disappearing and roof tops are no longer habitable instead filled with tons of air-conditioning machines. Someday in the future this area may be packed with super high-rises and setback terraces with trees may extinct; they were a by product.  Now almost every street is narrowed by on going construction of high-rises, creating traffic congestion.

かつては意図せずともそうなっていたものが、現在、新しい規制になってからは生まれづらくなっている。ミッドマンハッタンはますます筒状の超高層になって いる。段状のテラスは姿がなくなり、屋上も、もう人の行ける場所ではなくなりつつある。空調の機械で占領されつつある。いつかこの地域は超高層ビルでギシ ギシに充填されて、このような副産物で生まれた緑化されたテラスはどこにも見られなくなるかもしれない。その未来に向けて、ミッドマンハッタンはどの通りも超高層ビルの建設で活気ついている。工事現場の前の車線が半分になり、交通渋滞が至る所。



We found a building which has a big trees downtown where we have another project. They  look to be more than 10m tall when you compare them with the steel handrails which are around 1 m high. The trunks seems to be 30 cm in diameter. How did they grow there? The pots must be huge and heavy. How can the roof structure hold it?  How strong is the wind pressure on the trees at this height? How are they prevented from falling?….. It is beyond our imagination.