New York, USA
Located in New York City’s Gramercy neighborhood, 200 East 21st Street by BKSK Architects LLP for Alfa Development carries a strong sense of responsibility to both the urban and natural environment.
The 20-story, 124,000-square-foot, multi-family residential tower features ground-floor retail and 67 residential condo apartments.
A commanding, contemporary presence at the corner of 21st and 3rd Avenue, the interwoven glass and masonry tower is a modern reinterpretation of the light brick and limestone detailing that pervades the neighborhood.
In the tradition of surrounding buildings, there is a well-defined processional entry sequence starting from the street, proceeding through the entrance, defined by a grand marquee, ascending a lobby stair, and culminating in a skylit amenity space.
For its sustainable design that does not compromise on style, 200 East 21st Street has recently been awarded a 2022 Green Good Design Award by The Chicago Athenaeum: Museum of Architecture and Design and The European Centre for Architecture Art Design and Urban Studies.
Apartments are all street-facing and access to outdoor space is provided through 10 private terraces, three balconies, and a public green roof.
Natural light and a view of the courtyard are featured in a public hall on each floor.
The façade is organized formally by a light grid of glass-fiber-reinforced concrete frames overlaid on a brick structure with large, punched glass and aluminium openings.
On the lower floors, the grid is continuous and evenly spaced, defining a singular building mass.
Above, two eight- and five-story vertical reveals on the western and northern facades, respectively, divide the building mass into three distinct sections: a northern street wall along 21st Street, a western street wall facing 3rd Avenue, and a prominently-defined corner dormer, the latter of which rises another three stories beyond the street wall setback asserting a strong corner presence.
The heroic windows give the appearance of an underlying glass curtainwall structure woven behind the brick and concrete, tying together the three portions of the street wall volume.
Above the fifteenth floor, a set-back tower rises another six stories with a masonry and glass appearance, while glass and aluminum volumes slip past the masonry to reveal a glass curtainwall presence.
At the corner, glass-wrapping windows offer a unique, expansive view from the apartments within.
The building is highly sustainable and is pursuing LEED Gold certification.
Features such as solar domestic hot water production and extra insulation reduce energy consumption, while landscaping throughout the building exposes tenants to the natural environment with a biophilic presence, including a green wall in the lobby and green roofs on all public and private terraces.
The design supports the future installation of a rainwater tank on the roof.
Embedded in the design is a strong sense of responsibility to both the urban and natural environment that characterizes this project as a strong contributor to the neighborhood.
Project: 200 East 21st Street
Architects: BKSK Architects LLP.
Client: Alfa Development
Photographers: Inessa Binenbaum