South Cove is an unusual, meditative recess along the waterfront. Considered one of the country's most significant public artworks, the work is the result of a unique collaboration between environmental artist Mary Miss, architect Stanton Eckstut and landscape architect Susan Child. South Cove encompasses everything from- carefully sited rocks, natural plantings, and atmospheric blue lights along the Esplanade -to the water-racked pilings and the large, arching wooden jetty at the southern corner of the cove that extends into the Hudson like a pier. The jetty gently curves inward, back toward shore, as if in meditation of the city from which it sprung. Overlooking the view is a raised metal tower recalling the prow of a boat or the crown of the Statue of Liberty visible beyond. At once dramatic and serene, South Cove is a place where land and water, nature and metropolis, past and present, gently coalesce.
Rising 400 feet above the nearby Hudson River and New York City Harbor, the Visionaire is Battery Park City's last and most environmentally responsive residential building. The 450,000-square-foot project includes a 35-story tower connected to a 10-story base, providing a strong physical presence along the southwestern edge of Lower Manhattan. The LEED Platinum building is the third of Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects' residential towers for Battery Park City.
The Visionaire assimilates two of New York City's most ecologically advanced for-profit and non-profit properties into one integrated architectural example of green living. The mixed-use program includes 250 condominiums, a 4,000-square-foot local organic market, below-grade parking, and a 45,000-square-foot headquarters for the Battery Park City Parks Conservancy, the public agency that maintains the Battery Park City Esplanade and open public spaces.
Energy efficiency and indoor air quality are the most important and fully incorporated environmental features of the Visionaire, which is rated LEED Platinum. The most visually expressive element of the building's energy efficiency is its high-performance envelope, a terracotta rain-screen curtain wall with silver-coated low-e insulated glass and 4,500 square feet of integrated photovoltaic paneling.
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 sky-reflecting glass animate the river's edge.