Riverhouse: Marrying Green Technology with Good Hot Chocolate

Riverhouse is a new condominium in Battery Park City at the tip of Manhattan. Designed by Polshek Partnership Architects,(or is it David Rockwell? Times says Polshek, Site says Rockwell). It is "a new paradigm in green architecture"- it has" a triple-glaze window wall that contains an eight-inch chamber for air flow to provide natural cooling and heating via convection. (didn't Le Corbusier design that 75 years ago for the Cite de Refuge?) There is also a shade inside the cavity to regulate solar energy. Rooftop panels convert solar energy into electricity. The panels augment the electrical loads in the common areas, like the corridors and the lobby.The $1 million wastewater treatment plant in the basement recycles waste water for the cooling tower in the building’s heating, ventilation and air-conditioning system." According to the Times, "its interiors and price tag lean toward the trust-fund Birkenstock set", a phrase we will remember.

Condo marketing is another world from reality, but it appears that they have developed an entirely new standard of green design, called "Oxygen Green" covering "energy, infinite comfort, natural regeneration, purity, environmentally consious community, ecoluxury and healthiness". Sounds a lot more nebulous than LEED but a lot more fun. Website has no information and lousy flash graphics.

It is important to the Times that Green Bakery "Birdbath" is on the ground floor; "The property’s developer, the Sheldrake Organization, wanted to continue the environmental theme and also enable those who would spend $800,000 to $4 million for a unit in the building to satisfy a taste for indulgence. The solution was to woo Maury Rubin, owner of City Bakery, to open a store on the ground floor of Riverhouse.The developer offered to help offset the cost of building an ecological bakery. In exchange, Mr. Rubin, a vocal proponent of organic causes, will be able to spread his gospel in a storefront that opens onto Nelson A. Rockefeller Park and is expected to draw not only the building’s residents but also commuters from the World Financial Center ferry terminal. In addition to the bakery, there will be the cafe operated by Mr. Rubin for residents.

Mr. Daly said: "I’m thrilled we were able to marry green technology, water views and the best hot chocolate." ::New York Times

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