Due to changes in market conditions, the client requested that CetraRuddy transform their initial hotel design into an office building with over 144,000 rentable square feet of space. Located at 412 West 15th Street, the project also features the renovation of two adjacent buildings at 413-435 West 14th Street. These structures add an additional 110,000 rentable square feet of space to the project.
Ensuring a connection between the new building and the adjacent 413 West 14th Street was a major goal in the design process, said John Cetra of CetraRuddy. A yard—not visible in the renderings—runs the entire length of the new building and will connect it and the neighboring structure on the ground level.
The existing structure, a pre-1910 “rational, no nonsense” building, was built as three stories with a fourth story later added. To build atop it, Cetra found inspiration in the nearby High Line’s exposed steel structure. The new construction is similarly designed to create “an elegant structure,” he explained, with metal cladding and open floors exposed by glazing. The new building’s steel frame was designed to reveal its cross-bracing. (While the firm thought masonry was more appropriate for a hotel, they switched to steel when it became an office tower.) Decorative metal panels cover the project’s elevator and stair shafts.
The new structure will have a relatively small floor plate but offers expansive views and plenty of natural light. Cetra said that his team worked “[to design] the superstructure and systems within the space so that it wasn’t necessary to suspend the ceiling within the spaces.”
The building has a distinct context: the office tower on West 15th Street falls just outside of the Gansevoort Historic District but the existing building on West 14th Street is within its boundaries. The new building features more contemporary styling while the West 14th Street structure aims to fit into the existing environment.
In regards to sustainability, all of the roofs for this project will be blue roofs, retaining stormwater. The building will also boast rooftop conference rooms and terraces.
Cetra noted the open, flexible design for the ground floor retail space will allow customization for whichever tenant rents it. An open lobby with floor-to-ceiling glass and high ceilings aims to create a “gallery-like experience.” Terrazzo floors and black and stainless steel and darker metals fit well with the neighborhood, said Charles Thomson, the project’s manager. A luminous canopy outside the new building’s entrance differentiates the office tenant’s entrance from the retail storefront.
The building is currently under construction with the beginning of tenant fit-out scheduled for some time mid- to late-2017.