51 Astor Place

new york, ny

client: edward minskoff equities, inc.

At the locus of two famous NYC neighborhoods, East Village and Greenwich Village, this new corner plaza takes full advantage of the vibrant urban life generated by nearby NYU and historic Cooper Union across the street. With a strong architectural alignment of banquette seating, this plaza benefits from its urban context by carefully staging the cherished NYC pastime of street theatre. Using the new Fumihiko Maki-designed building as its backdrop, the layout encourages transverse pedestrian traffic which cuts the corner along the building, retail storefronts and lobby entrance. 24-hour activity at this busy intersection is further enhanced by the light wands and cove lighting beneath the banquet seating. This unique NYC public space has replaced the famous Rosenthal Cube traffic island as the go-to social gateway to the “villages”. The faceted topographic green roof on the building setback hosts an outdoor lounge terrace and softens views from adjoining buildings.

The plaza’s simple but strong program and forms have helped anchor this new building to its neighborhood and earned the public’s warm embrace.