The new Waterline Square complex near the Hudson River features a 100,000-square-foot amenity center called the Waterline Club. But you don’t see it when strolling the property. That is because all three of its levels are buried below-ground—between, and partially beneath, a trio of residential towers (by Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates, Rafael Vinoly Architects, and Richard Meier & Partners Architects, respectively). Rockwell Group’s challenge: how to make the subterranean project light, bright, and uplifting.
Athletic facilities, art studios, and entertainment spaces are arrayed around a triple-height central courtyard. Thin columns of cast GRFG rise to the 30-foot ceiling where they blossom into biomorphic forms made of thin powder-coated aluminum louvers. A system of bridges and staircases takes residents from their building to, say, the basketball court or the screening room. Maine yacht builders clad these steel conduits with walnut-stained maple, encased them in fiberglass, and then applied shellac. Framed openings in the courtyard’s travertine walls suggest ever-expanding space.
Artificial illumination was calibrated to give the effect of natural light, changing throughout the day. The bright, cool glow at midday gives way to lower, warmer tones toward dusk, at which point table and floor lamps come on, creating intimate areas in the vast
Project Team: David Rockwell; Shawn Sullivan; Craig Chowaniec; Anna Kendrick; Pamela Ortega; Courtney Richards; Cara Cragan; McNisky Jeantus; Jeongseo Kim.