Last week, a group of interior designers from the ASID NyMetro chapter were given an inside tour of the first LEED Certified Platinum residential building in NYC, the Visionaire. The building is touted to be the greenest building in the US, and was designed by Pelli Clarke Pelli architects, whom we were fortunate enough to get a glance of during our tour!
We were greeted in the sweeping lobby by Tim Button, the interior designer for the public spaces. He discussed the elements used in the Lobby’s interiors, such as FSC Certified end cut Douglas Fir wood floors, natural fiber carpets, and locally quarried limestone which brings the exterior materials inside. The Lobby features a large fresh water aquarium, open on one side to the Lobby and to the children’s playroom on the other.
The green elements continue in the children’s area (they made us take our shoes off upon entry). Panels by 3-Form allow light in while adding colorful interest, and rapidly renewable bamboo panels clad the surrounding interior walls. Recycled natural rubber floors provide a soft and acoustically sound surface on which to play.
All of the units feature Bamboo cabinetry, energy star rated appliances, FSC Certified oak floors, recycled glass tile, and energy efficient fixtures such as Toto’s low-flow toilets. Instead of florescent lighting, the models are fitted with LED bulbs, offering a highly efficient and non-toxic lighting source. LED’s in my opinion, aren’t quite there yet in terms of lighting quality. Phillips is a manufacturer on the forefront on LED technology, developing less-expensive, versatile, and high quality fixtures which should be available in the near future. Other building features include; an ultra-high efficiency air handling and filtration system, in-building wastewater treatment system, rainwater harvesting for roof gardens, natural daylighting, solar collectors, low VOC paints and a pesticide-free roof garden.
The model apartment also features sustainable elements. Window treatments and upholstery are made with Carnegie’s recycled polyester fabrics. The rugs are all natural fiber, and formaldehyde free, FSC certified woods and materials are used for the furnishings. Some of the furniture offerings came from Janus et Cie, and accessories were provided by Roost in Brooklyn.