Curbed can’t get enough of Two Trees’ Clinton Park, the massive mixed-use development proposed for a Hell’s Kitchen wasteland. Designed by Enrique Norten, its unusual feature is the zig-zagging roof line planted with greenery – which is something nice to have in what seems to be an otherwise desert of concrete and maybe desolation (even though it’s not much more than eye candy). Aesthetically it also seems quite pleasing that the building slopes down towards Clinton-DeWitt Park. The whole purpose behind the design seems to further progress the ongoing gentrification and real estate prices in the area.
Having a roof greened makes me associate environment supporting qualities being implemented in the building design. While I don’t consider the 900 apartments high density nature of “Clinton Park” as a particularly exciting sustainability feature in an already high rise neighbourhood, I also don’t think that a Mercedes Benz car dealerships and a 30,000 square-foot NYPD horse stable do much for either environmental or social sustainability. I also read about 200 car parking spaces but nothing about a bike parking lot. And given that we’re talking gentrification: how will such building affect the people living there who most likely can’t afford buying or renting anything in Clinton Park? How will their needs be catered for? Where will they end up in the near future?
Neither Curbed nor the green self-consciousness Inhabitat nor Norton’s NYC-based firm TEN ARQUITECTOS mention anything about materials, energy saving and waste recycling features, community involvement in the building design, community space in the building (there’s lots of retail though) – so I doubt there is anything that could elevate the design into the league of sustainability supporting green buildings.
I often wonder about Inhabitat’s mission of promoting the merging of good, exciting, trail blazing design with sustainability principles. It seems they’re so hooked on the aesthetic aspects that they mistake the smallest trace of green appearance for sustainability incoporated. I don’t wanna sound mean, but in the area of consumer product marketing it’s called greenwashing.