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512 West 22nd Street: Biophilic design on the High Line

COOKFOX Architects designed the project.

May 27, 2020 |
512 West 22nd Street roof terrace

All photos: Bruce Damonte

Located on the High Line at a spot known as the Chelsea Thicket, 512 West 22nd Street is a new office building inspired by its proximity to the park’s public space and its location with connection to and views of the Hudson River. 

The building, designed via principles of biophilia, is unusual in that the planted areas of the roof, staircase, and terraces represent greater square footage than its footprint. 512 features over 15,000 sf of outdoor space. Landscaped terraces populated solely with native species are cut into the building’s profile on every floor. Continuous stepped terraces from levels two to four are designed for outdoor circulation, events, and other uses for tenants, while at the second and third floors the branches of the thicket meet the overhang above, margining into a canopy. In total, the planted areas represent 110% of the footprint of the building.


512 West 22nd Street exterior


Designed to achieve LEED Gold certification, the architectural design includes resiliency features that can withstand 100-year food predictions, an integrated rooftop watering and grey water system, and signature interior columns.


512 West 22nd street open lobby


The building’s exterior recalls the historical infrastructure and warehouse buildings of the neighborhood and the contemporary design that defines west Chelsea. The building features industrial sash-inspired windows and an anthracite terra-cotta, zinc, and granite facade. The custom terra-cotta profile rotates and opens at the curved edges of the building with glass that arcs around the corners, featuring operable windows that offer more direct control of the environment and access to outdoor air.

The offices include large, light-filled floors with overhead air distribution and filtering systems. Below the office space, the 22nd Street lobby includes a curated event space that can open onto the sidewalk when the pane-glass garage door is lifted. Off the lobby, a landscaped viewing garden offers a calming focal point at the elevator banks.


512 west 22nd street office space


512 west 22nd street green space and High Line

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