Project DescriptionFROM THE ARCHITECTS:
Located at the western edge of Midtown Manhattan, the Mercedes House mixed-use development occupies more than half of a city block, comprising a total of 1.3 million square feet of commercial and residential programs. The building integrates multiple commercial uses at the base and provides 27 floors of housing above. The base building includes an auto showroom fronting Eleventh Avenue with 275,000 square feet of service floors below grade, a 37,000 square feet space for community use and retail, a smaller retail space, a health club and 200 parking spaces.
The design is deeply rooted in the unique conditions of the site, sloping up and away from De Witt Clinton Park at a starting height of 86 feet along Eleventh Avenue, and climbing up to 328 feet at its peak. This transition successfully reconciles two distinctly different urban scales: the flat, horizontal plane of the waterfront park on the west, and the dense and predominantly vertical Manhattan grid to the east.
The residential form creates a total of 865 units (695 rental units and 170 condo units), including 20 percent inclusionary housing.
Securing light and air for the great majority of apartments, the double-loaded corridor shifts diagonally across the site in a unique orientation to the Manhattan grid, reducing the building’s mass adjacent to the neighboring buildings. Each floor steps up from the one below, allowing unobstructed views to the park and the Hudson River, and providing private roof terraces with green roofs on every floor.
The building’s mirrored structure introduces the creation of two courtyards—a sun-bathed pool garden to the south and a shaded activities court to the north. Through the amenities at its perimeter, the building’s semi-public exterior spaces are activated throughout the day and night.
With its slim profile of private units and terraces, as well as the fluid circulation to its active courtyards, the building connects directly to the urban fabric, immersing the individual and the collective within the city.