Stunning Garden Walls That Get A Green Thumbs Up

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Credit: Christina Dolamore

Few people would object to making their homes more environmentally friendly. But, what they might object to, particularly in the high-end, luxury residential market are eco-additions that are not aesthetically attractive (think traditional solar panels). Some New York City residential developments are weaving natural elements into their designs with beautiful and functional garden walls. These vertically irrigated installations with diverse plant species often replace art in lobbies. Not only are they gorgeous in and of themselves but they also drastically improve air quality and reduce noise pollution – something no sculpture or painting can claim.

Here are the top 10 NYC residential developments that get a big green thumbs up.

200 East 21st Street

Credit:Courtesy of Alfa Development

200 East 21st Street is the newest condominium building in Alfa Development’s GreenCollection of sustainable developments located in coveted Gramercy Park. The building is targeting LEED Gold Certification with a range of highly sustainable features such as a green wall curated by EcoWalls and landscaped green roof designed by leading urban landscaping firm Halsted Welles Associates to reduce “heat-island effect”, solar-powered hot water and more. The building features architecture by renowned firm BKSK and interiors by Champalimaud.

Austin Nichols House

Credit: Christina Dolamore

Morris Adjmi Architects redesigned this 1915 Cass Gilbert building, previously a warehouse for the Austin, Nichols & Co., once the city’s largest grocer and distributor of Wild Turkey. Adjmi’s renovation blends old and new to re-envision the structure into a waterfront residential oasis. The building’s lobby features a massive, 20-foot tall, floor-to-ceiling garden wall that includes 3,500 plants over 500 square feet. The wall is complemented by hexagonal Italian tile flooring and hand painted cement columns. Residents also have access to a floor of amenities that include co-working spaces, a resident cafe and catering kitchen, children’s playroom, theatre, music rehearsal rooms which all look onto a central zen garden and courtyard with landscaping, elevated walkways and a fire pit. To top off the natural amenities, the rooftop sun deck offers unobstructed waterfront views.


Credit: Courtesy of Anbau Enterprises 

Citizen360 is a new Yorkville condominium tower designed by SHoP Architects and by developed by Anbau. Holistic designer Clodagh crafted the amenities to offer residents a respite from the city. A standout feature is the lush lobby green wall created by Town & Gardens that offers an immediate spa-like feel when residents come home. The aesthetic is modern and intimate with sleek lines and natural warm finishes. Citizen360 has 84 residences and additional amenities include a wellness lounge, gym outfitted by The Wright Fit and an automated parking system.

Cast Iron House

Credit:Hayes Davidson

Cast Iron House is one of New York’s quintessential examples of 19th century cast-iron architecture from 1881 where an enclosed 30-foot bamboo forest will grow along the south side of the building’s sunken courtyard rising up to the lobby level. Located on the corner of 67 Franklin Street in Tribeca, the building has a total of 13 homes, including two exceptional penthouses. Shigeru Ban’s architectural concept for Cast Iron House is quite unique as he envisions the original cast iron façade as a bottle with each newly built-out reimagined interior as the ship. This is his first historic conversion in New York.

252 East 57th Street

Credit: Courtesy of 252 East 57th Street

Anchoring the eastern corridor of Manhattan’s Billionaire’s Row, 252 East 57th Street is a 65-story ultra-luxury condominium designed by internationally recognized architectural firm SOM, with interiors by lauded AD100 interior architect Daniel Romualdez. The building entrance has a walkway between babbling pools of water to enter the lobby that is clad in marble and limestone with a lush, floor-to-ceiling, living green wall and a long brass table brimming with plants. Inspired by nature, the natural elements of water, glass, greenery, stone, and wood come together to create the feeling of a tranquil oasis within a built environment.

Developed by World Wide Group and Rose Associates, the tower features 95 condominiums beginning on the 36th floor.

Credit: Hayes Davidson
53W53 is a 1,050-foot-high residential condominium tower rising above The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in Midtown Manhattan. 53W53 was designed by world-renowned architect Jean Nouvel and developed by: Hines, Goldman Sachs Group,  Pontiac Land  Group. The 17,000 square foot, full-floor Wellness Center will include two large vertical green gardens, designed by French botanist, Patrick Blanc and will frame the 65 foot swimming pool. Amenities also include a fitness center, private training area, sauna, steam rooms, golf simulator and squash court, all operated by The Wright Fit; a library, theater, children’s playroom, and temperature controlled wine vaults for purchase.


Credit: Courtesy of Ellipse

Located on the waterfront of Jersey City’s Newport neighborhood and designed by internationally-acclaimed design firm Arquitectonica, At LeFrak’s curvaceous rental tower Ellipse’s entrance,  residents are greeted by a massive green wall that spans an entire wall in the 24-hour attended lobby. A living mural, the green wall depicts a scene of a sailor crossing the Hudson River between Manhattan and Newport, a scene that will only become more vibrant and complex with time as the plants continue to grow.

180 East 88th Street

Credit: March Made for DDG

180 East 88th Street is a striking condominium situated in the coveted Carnegie Hill neighborhood of Manhattan’s Upper East Side. Developed and designed by DDG, the building sports a custom façade composed of almost 600,000 handmade, handset bricks from world-renowned brickworks Petersen Tegl. Embracing this artisanal aesthetic, the condominium’s statement entrance is one of its most eye-catching details. As residents arrive, they are greeted by a sprawling vertical garden that elegantly climbs its way up the side of the brick-clad building, creating a serene entrance. The vertical garden is echoed by an array of plantings surrounding the walkway and complemented by the striking arched bronze entryway.

70 Charlton

Credit: Evan Joseph

Nestled in the heart of Hudson Square, Extell’s 70 Charlton was designed to be an urban sanctuary in the middle of a bustling neighborhood with a variety of wellness offerings to ensure sound mind and body. To complement the building’s sanctuary-like collection of amenities is an interior courtyard space with landscaped gardens complete with a tall living wall with cascading plants to promote serenity throughout residents lifestyle experience.

152 Elizabeth

Credit: Noe & Associates and The Boundary

Tadao Ando’s concrete and glass condominium at 152 Elizabeth Street is his first residential development in NYC and outside of Asia. The buildings’s highly anticipated concrete exterior hosts a living garden wall which changes color and texture throughout the seasons. Click here to see a video of the living wall (and the rest of the building).

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