512 West 22nd Street, a Chelsea office building bordering the High Line, is inspired by both its proximity to the planted public space and principles of biophilic design. Its location provides immediate visual and physical connections to the nature on the High Line and views of the Hudson River beyond. Achieving LEED Gold certification and fostering an office environment connected with the natural world, 512 West 22nd Street sets new standards of health and productivity in the modern workplace.
The building recalls the historical warehouses and infrastructure of the neighborhood, and the restrained contemporary design that defines West Chelsea. Its materiality and form echo the High Line’s aesthetic, with industrial sash-inspired windows and a façade composed of graphite grey terracotta, zinc and granite. The deep, rolling profile of the custom terracotta casts a continually changing shadow across the curved edges of the building. Curved glass arcs around the corners and the window wall features operable windows, offering occupants more direct control of their environment and access to outdoor air.
The 22nd Street lobby doubles as an event space for tenant use, and features a pool reflecting the sky above on the approach to the elevators. The office spaces have been designed to create professional environments that support the well-being of employees. Throughout the building, flared concrete columns are inspired by the mushroom columns seen in 19th and 20th century concrete warehouses. The columns were cast-in-place with fiberglass forms and allow a long structural span for large, light-filled floors. A state-of-the-art overhead air distribution system is adaptable to a wide range of users and engineered for comfort and high-performance, with highly filtered outdoor air and high-performance building controls.
Taking cues from the High Line’s artfully woven, dynamic green corridor that connects the surrounding urban infrastructure, over 100% of 512 West 22nd Street’s site area is planted with accessible green terraces and roof gardens. Located adjacent to the Chelsea Thicket portion of the High Line, landscaped terraces are cut into the building's profile on every floor, integrating nature into the workplace and offering intimate views of the adjacent trees and planted spaces. Outside areas are populated with native, drought resistant species, connecting tenants to the natural history of the land. Along the High Line, continuous stepped terraces from levels two to four are designed for outdoor circulation and events. At the second and third floors, the branches of the thicket meet the overhang above, merging into a canopy. Ascending to the fourth-floor terrace and rising above the tree line opens sightlines down the High Line and to the city beyond.
COOKFOX Architects is a studio dedicated to a vision of integrated, environmentally responsive design. We believe good design is sustainable and we are committed to being wise stewards of our shared natural and cultural resources. Guided by our passion for excellence and our belief in the collaborative process, COOKFOX pursues projects that allow us to fundamentally re-think how people interact with buildings and the natural environment. Starting with intensive research, we seek to understand each unique project in its environmental, cultural, and historical context, so that our work may engage with layers of time and promote a strong sense of place. Inspired by biophilia, we pursue architecture that restores, regenerates, and elevates our collective experience of the urban environment.