Rebecca Cole GROWs was awarded this design project in 2017. We were thrilled at the opportunity to work with the building architect’s, Arquitectonica, on designing and building green spaces to accompany the passive housing units. This all-inclusive passive housing development required that we meet specific standards of efficiency, making the greening of the rooftop, terrace, and ground-floor spaces integral to the building design and certification.

This building offers all the amenities of high-end condos such as a private dog park, rooftop cabanas, outdoor patio space, greenery, and games while providing 35 affordable rental units to residents of NYC. With this project, the would-be resident was at the center of the design. The added amenities feel natural to urban living and provide varying degrees of enjoyment through visual beauty, play and relaxation. Our goal in designing the three gardens was to create spaces for gathering where residents would feel the style and offerings reflected their personal tastes and interests.

Cedar pergola with cement furniture

As a passive housing unit, Rebecca Cole had to think outside the box with this landscape design project!


The rooftop terrace at the 23rd floor perfectly complements the surrounding cityscape through color and material selection establishing a seamless city skyline. When using the rooftop amenities, you are not just looking at the view, you become a part of that view. The standout feature, up top is the wood pergola with cement features. The contrast of materials provides a unique design and solves engineering challenges presented by the passive building requirements. This wood and concrete combination is repeated throughout the garden spaces including at the 12th floor private dog park.

Mondrian details

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At the ground floor of the building, occupants can enjoy staples of Rebecca Cole GROWs designs. The backyard privacy divider creates intimacy and adds beauty through an inventive Mondrian-style trellis. This homage to Piet Mondrian, separates the backyard neighbors from one another and permits plants, sun and wind to grown and flow through – this is not a wall but a green vision benefiting residents on both sides! The cement furniture, designed and manufactured by Rebecca Cole GROWs, reflects the brutalism of Manhattan and specifically the Yorkville neighborhood – bringing a little piece of the city into the home space. Our cement furniture is custom made to create an ergonomically satisfying and comfortable lounge area. Not to mention the built-in planter boxes. In a city like New York where space is limited, why not grow plants in your furniture!

Mondrian green wall

The Yorkville High-rise Passive House challenged us in ways we had not been challenged before.

Integrated into the skyline

Working within the confines of the passive requirements meant we had to create low-maintenance green spaces that were uniquely interesting to look at. We would say, our designs accomplished that to a tee.