Like many American cities at the turn of the century, some of New York City’s most iconic monuments of that time were designed as gateways to the city: the Brooklyn Bridge, Pennsylvania Station, Grand Central Station. A visitor passing through each of these corridors would immediately be struck by a sense of awe at having arrived in spaces as soaring and grand as these were, either in the great hall of Grand Central or walking beneath the towering Gothic arches on the Brooklyn Bridge boardwalk. In many cases, the scale of some of these spaces was exaggerated to imbue them with a quality of splendor that was befitting a metropolis as cosmopolitan and symbolic of progress as Manhattan was at the turn of the century.
Respecting the tradition of some of these structures, we envision a parking garage that could act as a similar type of gateway that would elevate the pedestrian experience from car to street level.
Once through the thick colonnade, the pedestrian is separated from the vehicular traffic and finds him/herself in a completely open and voluminous stair open to the sky above. We intended this space to be as generous and grand as possible to counter the predominant parking garage layout which isolates the stair core in a tight, dark corner of the garage. In this way, the path down or up is as exalted as the gateway spaces of the turn of the last century.
The continued development of Midtown West from an industrial neighborhood into a viable business district has left the area lacking in amenities such as food services and outdoor public areas for lunch. The Farmer’s market at the base of the building provides an ideal location for the business community to find fresh dining alternatives.
A roof garden at the top of the garage is a sanctuary where people can retreat to high above the traffic and noise of the street. The stepped nature of the garden provides a space that is protected from the wind but open to the sky giving the enclosure the feeling of an outdoor room