February 4, 2013 by Robin Plaskoff Horton
Pulltab Design, whose indoor green wall I featured a few years ago, designed this beautiful urban garden for a client in New York City’s East Village, incorporating a novel custom water feature and space defining canvas privacy screens made by a sailmaker.
With the strategic placement of planters, partitions, and built-in benches, the rooftop space provides a number of seating niches and separate cozy outdoor rooms.
The garden’s focal point is a large rough sawn block of oak wood, above, the top carved to accept a custom designed stainless steel basin and spout which pours water into a rusting corten steel water feature.
Sourced from Pennsylvania, the block of wood functions as both seating and a fountain, and like many of the garden’s features including the planted screen below, it was designed to weather beautifully over time.
The garden design takes advantage of panoramic views of the Manhattan skyline yet includes features to maintain the owner’s privacy within a wide open space. Designed for privacy, three walls surrounding the outdoor shower, above, offer privacy at the same time allowing the owner a glimpse of the Empire State Building through a small opening.
Designers cleverly placed a 22-inch round framed window lined with a section of gas line pipe to drip rust down the stucco wall. I love how the rust connects visually to the rusted steel elsewhere in the garden, a nod to letting the materials evolve naturally.
The garden’s materials, textures, and plantings combine to create an outdoor living space that will only get better with age.
Photography by Bilyana Dimitrova.