New York Times Lobby Garden

Location: New York, New York

As part of Renzo Piano Building Workshop and FXFOWLE Architect's de­sign team, HMWhite and Cornelia Oberlander, led the courtyard design, now considered the heart and soul of The New York Times headquarters building. A counterpoint to its dense, bustling Times Square neighborhood, the open-courtyard reveals a serene, symbolic fragment of the Hudson River Valley woodland land­scape. To understand the proposed courtyard's environmental conditions, HMWhite engaged micro-climate specialists who pioneered a software program to measure micro-climatic conditions through 3-D modeling computer simulations. Seasonal solar radiation, wind and human comfort levels were mapped at strategic times of the year to reveal the environmental variations and extremes. These invaluable scientific findings provided data that informed the courtyard design. Growing conditions were revealed to determine species selection, arrangement and planting preparations to ensure long-term sustainability. The garden court evolved into a Birch grove clustered where the highest direct sunlight is captured. The multi-stemmed trees punctuate undulating mounds of sedges and ferns. The dark evergreen woodland carpet contrasts sharply with the lobby’s wood floor, suffusing nature’s subtle qualities into an urban office context. The “hillocks” provide sculptural relief and draw attention to the garden’s solitary timber walk that bridges over its sensitive landscape. The minimalist design emphasizes bold simplicity to depict a strong natural statement that harmonizes with the building’s design elements.


New York Times
Forest City Ratner Companies

Design Team:

Landscape Architect: HMWhite
Landscape Architect Co-Designer: Cornelia Hahn Oberlander
Architect: Renzo Piano Building Workshop
Architect of Record: FXFOWLE
Micro-climate Specialists: Ekistics
Arborist/Soil Foodweb Specialist: Green Pastures Organics
Landscape Contractor: Kelco Landscape
Landscape Management: Chelsea Gardens


ASLA New York Honor Award

ASLA New York Merit Award for Research and Communication

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