The Visionaire is Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects’ third environmentally sustainable residential tower in Battery Park City, New York, following The Solaire and The Verdesian. Each design integrates the latest in environmental technology and builds upon the success of its predecessors through a cooperative program of performance review conducted by the developer, the building managers, and Pelli Clarke Pelli. After completion, The Visionaire received a rating of Platinum in 2009 from the US Green Building Council’s LEED Certification program, the highest distinction in sustainable architecture.
Located near the southern tip of Manhattan, with panoramic views of New York Harbor and the Statue of Liberty, The Visionaire is a 33-story tower and 10-story podium containing over 250 residential condominium units and two penthouses. The tower consists of two interlocking curvilinear forms that express the building’s two contexts: the river and the city. On the west, the form rises to overlook Battery Park and the Hudson, its prow pointed south toward Liberty. On Little West Street, the curvilinear form is wrapped by a rectilinear volume that maintains the street wall and gives the building an elegant urban presence. The distinguishing shapes of the building’s massing respond to views, daylight and natural ventilation. The Battery Park City Authority’s master plan provided guidance for the building’s general orientation, but the particular building plan emerged from internal programmatic needs. The tower’s interlocking curves shape residential layouts, optimizing outward views and cross ventilation. Dramatically bending facades of banded terracotta and taught sky-reflecting glass animate the river’s edge, and the effect is both warm and contemporary.
The Visionaire offers the full array of amenities expected by the demanding New York City real estate market, including a full-service spa, a fitness center, a sky-lit pool, a children’s playroom, and a recreational lounge which opens onto a sixth-floor roof garden. . On the 10th floor, a roof garden provides lounging cabanas, a service bar with grills, and private picnic and lawn areas.
The building’s green design is seen as an amenity as well, and it has played a central role in attracting residents. The sustainable features include a high performance heating, cooling and ventilation system that delivers the highest indoor air quality available while still reducing energy loads; operable windows on all floors; smart lighting systems that use sensors to maintain efficiency; an array of photovoltaic cells at the tower’s top; geothermal wells that leverage the temperature of groundwater to ease heating and cooling loads; and water management systems that capture stormwater and recycle grey and black water for use in cooling, landscaping, and waste water resupply. The Visionaire’s construction was also environmentally responsible: 80% of construction waste was recycled, and building materials were sourced regionally to reduce transportation impacts.