As part of Renzo Piano Building Workshop and FX Fowle Architect’s design team, HM White led the courtyard design – considered the heart and soul of The New York Times headquarters building. To understand the courtyard’s environmental condition, HM White engaged specialists who pioneered a software program that measures 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 solitary timber walk that bridges over its sensitive landscape as the only means of access.
photo and articles via hmwhite