LaGuardia Mixed Use

This building is envisioned to be a landmark and point of pride for the Flushing/Queens neighborhood, and the owner has pushed the design solution in a direction that will be commensurate with that vision. The program includes a dedicated Community Center with a variety of meeting and event spaces for nearby residents. Additional programming includes a 120-key hotel featuring an elevated sky lobby with the Manhattan city view to the west and water view to the east, 70 apartment units, on-street retail, and studio space in the podium levels. The total building area is approximately 415,000 SF.

Design Challenge

The owner’s vision of a dynamic, fabric or sail-like façade has resulted in a complex geometry for the cladding material. A study is under way with several manufacturers to determine the best material and best digital fabrication techniques to realize this vision. A possible solution will be, after utilizing BIM modeling throughout the design process to optimize the number of repetitive panels, ultimately to digitally print formwork for concrete wall panels.

Physical Context

One of the property’s strongest attributes will be the views it will afford its residents and visitors. There will be no obstructions for views to the northeast towards the marinas of Flushing Bay and of planes coming and going at the airport. This is a prominent site in the community– highly visible from Grand Central Parkway and from flights arriving and departing from LaGuardia. The building’s height limit is significantly higher than the surrounding building fabric, as negotiated with the FAA since it lies between the airport’s approach paths. And once above the approximately 80’ height of the adjacent buildings, there will be clear views to the Manhattan skyline. For this reason, the owner has envisioned a grandly scaled sky garden at this elevation with uninterrupted views in all directions. This level will include a sky lobby for the hotel, a restaurant and bar, and a viewing/performance space overlooking the bay.