We were blown away when we first laid eyes on this incredible penthouse apartment in NYC, but we weren't at all surprised when we found out that it was the work of design architect Joel Sanders and landscape designer Diana Balmori whose firm, Balmori Associates, is a leader in the realm of public green spaces . The team designed the ultra modern top-floor suite in lower Manhattan, which boasts a 2,200 square foot roof garden and a 360 degree view of the Lower East Side.
The roof garden is more like a work of art than a collection of plants with a sloping pathway of green that ascends from the penthouse suite towards the sky. We can just imagine the owner, or ourselves, for that matter, lying on this bed of dense plants just watching the clouds rush by overhead. The outdoor space also has an outdoor shower and private enclave with a jacuzzi and sunning deck. The upper level holds an outdoor kitchen and grill lounging space – perfect for having guests over.
The greenery spills from the outside in to an interior garden beneath a twenty-foot long skylight. Large-leaf elephant ears and black bamboo create a lush green carpet beneath the floating stairs that lead to the roof. A green wall planted with euonymus appears above the delicate bamboo fronds through a glass partition separating the garden from master bathroom. Inside, the 3,100-sq.-ft. suite is finished in warm, natural woods and minimalist trimmings.
“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,” says the team of the design. “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.”
Owner: Matthew Blesso, Blesso Properties
Design Architect: Joel Sanders Architect
Landscape Designer: Balmori Associates
Interior Designer / Architect of Record: Andrea Steele Architect
Photos by Mark Dye