terrain-nyc: The Newswalk Condominium is comprised of over 200 apartments converted from what was once a printing press for the Daily News newspaper. At the time terrain was commissioned to redesign the entry garden, it was little more than an oversized drop off circle, akin to a cul-de-sac and inappropriate for the building’s urban context. The entry was poorly lit, overgrown and uninviting – a place to move through as fast as possible. The redevelopment of the entry garden aimed to provide a welcoming street presence to the condominium, harmonize the building’s wide mix of materials, and to provide a useful and enjoyable open space for residents.
The paving surface blends from the dark tonality of the lobby’s slate to the light concrete sidewalk, creating visual movement. Two planted islands emerge from the paving and shape the main entryway, framing a forced perspective to the front door. The sculptural islands, made of custom precast concrete, morph fluidly from curbs to benches and are finely crafted to receive comfortable timber seats. To one side of the entry is a smaller path with more intimate seating pockets, while on the larger side of the opposite side a planned phase 2 landscape will bring play areas, social space, and a demonstrative stormwater garden to building residents in the future.
Stormwater is addressed sustainably via permeable paving, rain gardens, and a below grade cistern, which prevents water from entering the city storm sewer. A series of pole lights, bollard lights, and strip lights attached below the custom timber benches create balanced and layered lighting, highlighting the sculptural precast concrete benches, warm timber, and dense planting.
Planting design draws from native woodland species with an added layer of colourful perennials and ephemeral bulbs to create an inviting experience year-round. Pin Oaks (Quercus palustris) and Black Tupelos (Nyssa sylvatica) form the overstory while Flowering Dogwoods (Cornus florida), Eastern Red Cedar (Juniperus virginiana), and Serviceberry (Amelanchier canadensis) fill out the understory.
The Newswalk Condominium entrance welcomes residents with an attention to detail and craft, texture and color. The former cul-de-sac is now home to native trees and plants, birds and insects, and the residents who occupy it each day.
Short office name: terrain-nyc
Role of the office in the project: Landscape Architect
Civil engineer: Brooker Engineering
Landscape contractor: The Todd Group
Precast concrete fabricator: Vestacast
Timber fabricator: Site Craft Inc.
Project location: Dean St, Brooklyn, NY, USA
Size: 17,000 square feet (1,600 square meters)
Years designed: 2015-2016
Year built: 2017