The project at 684 Broadway is an effort to explore the interface of the built and natural environment. Reconfiguring the space in between and making new connections creates more fluid passages; not blurring the line between landscape and architecture, but widening it. This thick interface creates the opportunity for new types of spaces. Alternating sheaves of landscape and building on both horizontal and vertical planes create transitions within this widened line. It is a complex interface that is layered – the thicker the line the better – and results in a new spatial entity. This interface becomes a sustainable strategy that aims to maximize biodiversity and sustainable design in this urban site by extending green space both horizontally and vertically within the renovated apartment and exterior roof space. The result, hypernature, is an artificial spectacle of constructed nature. Natural forms and phenomena are revealed and re-visioned into a magical landscape for living. Ecology and art meet at the surface creating an explosion of life within the urban context. The interface begins with an interior garden beneath a twenty foot long skylight. Filled with large leaved Elephant Ears and black bamboo, the plants create an ascending green carpet beneath the floating stairs to the roof. Above the delicate bamboo fronds, through a glass partition separating the garden from master bathroom, is visible a green wall planted with euonymus. This improbable swath of vertical vegetation climbs the wall colliding with a second skylight through which is visible the rooftop planting.
Peppered with a variety of wild flowers tall grasses encircle the roof top living space. Their delicate leaves swaying in the breeze reveal the beauty of this typically wind rooftop. Suspended above the sea of grasses is a bi-level ipe deck. On the lower level a small gravel path leads to a look out pod with views over the lower east side, an outdoor shower and on the opposite side of the stair bulkhead, a more private enclave with jacuzzi and sunning deck. Five steps lead to the upper level with an outdoor kitchen and grill lounging space. Birches punch through the deck at this level, creating dappled afternoon shade. From the second level the parapet green roof is visible. This swath of lush sedums creates an infinity edge of green with skyline as backdrop. Opposite the parapet, the bulkhead rises into the sky. Densely planted with stepable plants one can lie on the slope and watch cloud rushing overhead. A staircase leads to the top from which there is a 360 degree view of the Lower East side.