12 Spectacular Garden Walls and Atriums Worth Contemplating
By Keith Flamer
In the 1987 film Wall Street, Gordon Gekko said green is good. Okay, he actually said “Greed is good,” but he referenced money which is as green as it gets. Today, green is more humble, inclusive and communal, especially in lushly foliaged grand entrances, lobbies, courtyards, rooftops and atriums.
Mesmerizing green gardens are usurping contemporary art—gaining popularity as an urban agriculture design aesthetic, breathing life into homes, condos, indoor work spaces, hotels, hospitals, etc. Since Adam & Eve, biophilic gardens have tempted humans, who naturally covet tranquilty, inspiration, relaxation and happiness. Studies show they even increase work productivity. Here are 12 feel-good green garden installations and atriums—the new art form. What better way to say, Welcome?
Trip Advisor Headquarters (Needham, Mass.)
Garden on the Wall seamlessly integrated six serene gardens created with preserved ferns, forest and eucalyptus elements (requiring no maintenance) on the three levels for this global headquarters atrium designed by Baker Design Group.
Ty Warner Mansion at Las Ventanas al Paraiso (Los Cabos, Mexico)
Ty Warner and Robert Couturier’s dreamy 28,000-square-foot Ty Warner Mansion at Las Ventanas (a Rosewood Resort) is a private sanctuary boasting an ethereal courtyard oasis with a 360-degree garden, an exceptional entranceway, and floor-to-ceiling greenery that absorbs the Sea of Cortez’s soothing turquoise waves.
SLS Lux (Miami)
This 57-story residential tower will showcase an elegant 9th floor “secret garden” terrace with illuminated greenery, including an artistic biophilic wall amid impressive Brickell District views.
Auberge Beach Residences & Spa (Fort Lauderdale)
This beachfront property invites Enzo Enea-designed landscapes inside via its massive glass-encased atrium lobby huge planters, giant sheer curtains, and a glass ceiling offering unobstructed views of palm trees, blue skies, ocean, beach, pool and a Fernando Botero sculpture called “La Maternidad.”
1 Great Jones Alley (New York)
Secluded within an art enclave (where pop art was born), one of downtown’s last alleyways houses this new residential that features a petite garden with biophilic walls, perennials, ferns, vines, shrubs and canopy trees—all of which extend from the second floor to the downstairs porte-cochère alley.
1 Hotel South Beach (Miami)
Kobi Karp Architects designed this eco-conscious hotel with an abundance of natural materials, from graceful twists of driftwood furnishings to this striking entrance with biophilic elements above the lobby threshold and on the imaginative outdoor logo.
19 Park Place (New York)
This double-height attended lobby atrium showcases a living green wall, a 19-foot water feature, and a custom sculpture by Amanda Weil—creating a grand, sophisticated sense of arrival.
49 Chambers (New York)
Tribeca’s beautiful Beaux Arts Loft landmark with contemporary condos by Gabellini Sheppard also features an expansive glass-walled rooftop framed by carved limestone balustrades and MPFP Landscape Architects’ garden oasis highlighted by a wall of vibrant foliage, a lawn, outdoor kitchen, and a panorama of City Hall Park, The Woolworth Building and One World Trade Center.
535 Carlton (Brooklyn)
COOKFOX Architects’ sustainable 18-story residential includes a lobby with a biophilic green wall element against a striking backdrop beneath a wood ceiling and eclectic chandelier so residents can contemplate or refocus upon arrival and departure.
Austin Nichols House (Brooklyn)
Framed by a wood-beamed ceiling, Plant By Wall Design’s massive floor-to-ceiling green wall dominates the reception area with 3,500 plants over 500 square feet.
252 East 57th Street (New York)
In this SOM-designed residential, Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, Daniel Romualdez, and Mathews Nielsen Landscape Architects all worked their magic on this unique lobby, which represents a peaceful homecoming as residents traverse a walkway between water pools en route to a floor-to-ceiling green wall, a brass table planter and the front desk.
525 W. 52nd, New York
In Hell’s Kitchen, residents are greeted by a sun-drenched two-level atrium that relaxes from the second floor lobby to the cellar. This tranquil setting by Future Green Studio boasts a green wall and lush viewing garden (with pre-historic plants) inspired by tsubo niwa Japanese gardens.