Magazine article University Business

Lowerre Family Terrace at Marymount Manhattan College (N.Y.): Maximizing Space in an Urban Setting

Magazine article University Business

Lowerre Family Terrace at Marymount Manhattan College (N.Y.): Maximizing Space in an Urban Setting

Article excerpt

WHY LET A ROOFTOP JUST BE A rooftop? Officials at Marymount Manhattan, an independent institution of about 1,700 students with just two buildings on its Upper East Side neighborhood campus, transformed the rooftop of one building into an urban oasis.

* FUNCTION: The quad offers a natural respite for students, faculty, and staff.

* CHALLENGES: Students had no outdoor place to simply hang out, and it wouldn't be uncommon to find them gathering in corridors, with dramatic arts majors practicing lines for their next performance. Also, the traffic pattern between the two buildings was cumbersome, explains Paul Ciraulo, executive vice president for administration and finance. A master planning committee recognized the potential for using one part of a multilevel rooftop, creating the feel of a sunken garden between two taller buildings, says Lori Kupfer, an independent architect who was contracted for the project. Unlike with a typical open outdoor space, the project team had to work with height restrictions due to zoning limitations, plus the need to reinforce the structure below to ensure the proper load capacity, notes Karen Quigley, facilities manager. They also had to consider the view and noise level for residents living in apartments on the top floors of the building on which the terrace would be built.

* SOLUTION: Luckily, zoning regulations didn't weigh too heavily on the 5,000-square-foot space's design, which features a combination of plantings and other garden elements, such as seating and a dramatic water wall. …

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