Text description provided by the architects. Nestled among the skyscrapers of “billionaire’s row” are the historic jewels of Midtown Manhattan’s rise into the sky, the fashionable towers built by companies like Goodrich and General Motors, in muscular iterations of gothic revival, Viennese Secessionism and Art Deco styles. Designed by Carèrre & Hastings for the Fisk Tire company in 1920, the Fisk building’s 26 floors taper back in a series of terraces. COOKFOX chose the 17th floor to explore the next generation of workplace, a studio designed to join three planted terraces in an expression of our mission to connect people to nature within the built environment.
Entry is defined by a formal gallery hall, its expanse of exhibition walls and rhythm of concrete beams establishing a sense of focus and groundedness. Through a second portal, the low-ceilinged domestic refuge of the reception area gives way on either side to exaggerate the height of the ceiling, transitioning the axis of circulation to an east and west orientation, anchored by framed views of the gardens at each end of the studio space.
To the east is the sunrise terrace, where a garden and hydroponic towers connect to the “harvest kitchen” and dining area, designed to facilitate creative social communion and connection to nature. Across the studio on the sunset terrace, outdoor gathering areas allow staff and visitors to meet in a landscape of native trees, wildflowers, sedums and grasses. With a third viewing garden, the three planted spaces incorporate plants and soil moved from our former studio, providing habitat to local fauna and continuing nearly a decade of care and stewardship of the former rooftop garden by COOKFOX staff.
Visual and physical connections with the nature of the terraces extend into the studio space in the use of natural materials and textures which stimulate the same positive, healthy biological responses. The lighting system prioritizes daylight and supports healthy circadian rhythms, while high-quality air filtration with crow-sourced temperature control, CO2 monitoring and use of low-VOC materials ensure the best possible indoor air quality and aid in the studio’s LEED Platinum and WELL Gold certifications.