5 East 22nd Street

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Although this residential plaza surrounds the three street sides of the building, on East 22nd Street, the east side of Broadway, and East 23rd Street, the primary space is on East 22nd Street east of Broadway. Here, the residential plaza employs the familiar two-zone design that physically separates the “public” from the “residential entrance” area. Planters with sittable ledges along the public sidewalk are breached twice: once for a narrow corridor leading to the lobby, once for a wider corridor leading to the deep, rectangular space notched out of the building’s southeast corner. In the eyes of public space law, however, both corridors are equally public. The round forecourt with sittable ledges under the glass canopy in front of the lobby may read like an outdoor lobby for the building, but it is also to be used by members of the public.

Photo: Kayden et al. (2000)
Photo: Kayden et al. (2000)

The part of the plaza that reads as more public is a large space enclosed on west and north ends by the building. Landscaping lines the sides, most interestingly to the east where something called a “landscape sculpture,” composed of multiple levels of brick terraces interspersed with trees, resembles a waterfall without water and provides ambitious climbers with an opportunity to elevate themselves to a private spot. The remainder of space along Broadway and East 23rd Street is extra sidewalk in front of retail stores.

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