This high rise residential building along 2nd Avenue features a 35th floor rooftop oasis for residents to enjoy. The variety of spaces, seating, planting and paving along with spectacular views of the City and East River combine to offer residents a unique open space experience right in midtown Manhattan.
Rego Park Tower is a residential complex within the Rego Park Development, a 5+ acre site in Queens, adjacent to the Long Island Expressway. It sits on top of 5 levels of retail and garage providing a sequence of outdoor spaces. WDLA tasks included the design for a children’s playground, raised bosque area, yoga lawn, sunbathing and social gathering spaces. The WDLA design for Rego Park is an excellent example of how a terrace open space can provide amenities for a number of varied activities for residents of different ages and interests in distinct but separate spaces that flow seamlessly into each other.
At the heart of the Via Verde affordable housing development is a dynamic multi-level garden that serves as the organizing element and spiritual identity for the community. Located on a brownfield site in the South Bronx, the garden begins at ground level as a courtyard and then, like a tendril reaching towards the light, spirals upwards through a series of south-facing roof gardens, creating a promenade that culminates in a sky terrace with dramatic views of Downtown Bronx and Manhattan to the south.
Via Verde achieved LEED Gold Certification for the U. S. Green Building Council for its innovative environmentally responsible design. The multifunctional gardens allow residents to benefit from a profound connection to the natural environment in addition to the social connections possible in an urban
American Society of Landscape Architects (NY Chapter), Honor Award
Urban Land Institute, Global Awards for Excellence, Winner
The Eagle at 86 Fleet Place is part of the development of 4 residential towers in the bustling neighborhood of Downtown Brooklyn. WDLA was tasked with the design of a rooftop amenity terrace and ground level dog run. Nestled into an undulating flowering meadow, the sun deck and lawn provide residents with ample opportunities for lounging while the outdoor grill and the custom bar adjacent can be used to prepare the fare grown in the nearby allotment garden for guests. A custom pergola provides respite to those who prefer to spend their time outdoors beneath a cool canopy while the adjacent private terraces along the perimeter are artfully concealed from the more public amenity terrace. The rear courtyard touts a dog run, watering station and a distinct hardwood screen bordered by lush planting.
ARC is a residential development located in Long Island City, Queens featuring a ground level courtyard and rooftop amenity spaces. A central feature of the shared courtyard space is a greenhouse, allowing for outdoor events to take place year round. The gabion walls of the raised planting beds are offset by the warm tones of wood features and natural stone paving, and responds to the gabion walls integrated into the building facade. Clusters of lounge seating, dining tables and several bench types afford additional privacy for small groups to gather within the larger courtyard. The rooftop amenity space is organized around a pool, with chaise lounges for sunbathing and a custom pergola for those who prefer a shadier place to relax. Spectacular views of the city skyline can be seen from the three private outdoor kitchens and dining areas.
Located in the dynamic downtown area of Brooklyn, New York, the Margo at 180 Myrtle Avenue is a welcome addition to a quickly growing neighborhood. Tasked with the ground level landscape and amenity terrace, Weintraub Diaz Landscape Architecture’s design incorporates the experiences of a classic residential landscape. There are a series of spaces on the amenity terrace including living rooms, a kitchen, a dining space, gardening beds and lounge deck, all organized around a large, central lawn that provides space for multiple activities.
Carnegie Hill III at 1510 Lexington Avenue is the third in a series of residential buildings on E 98th Street in Manhattan SLCE Architects WDLA designed a courtyard and two landscaped terraces on the 2nd and 18th floors to complement the 310,000 SF modernist building.
The ground level courtyard features outdoor sofas, chairs, tables and multi-level planters, carefully arranged to divide the space into intimate outdoor rooms. On the second floor, private terraces are tucked into a large green roof system. The 18th floor terrace comprises a spectacular combination of outdoor rooms and varied gathering spaces. The undulating paths, a combination of unit pavers and stone aggregate, are punctuated with seating alcoves complete with Adirondack chairs and chaise lounges in small groupings of two or three. The densely planted raised berms around these seating areas provide enclosure and privacy creating an ideal escape from the surrounding city environment.
Located in the Financial District in Lower Manhattan, WDLA was the prime landscape architect on a private roof terrace retrofit for a high-rise multifamily housing unit. With the striking view of the Brooklyn and Manhattan bridges in the distance, the reimagined terrace boasts a variety of lounge, entertaining and dining areas, providing the residents with a truly unique and vibrant outdoor experience.
The Giovanni is the second phase in a campus of 4 buildings along Myrtle Avenue in Downtown Brooklyn. A second floor terrace garden provides outdoor amenities for the building residents and is accessible from a glass cube pop up from the interior amenity space below. Lush plantings in raised planters separate a number of smaller and larger rooms for a variety of experiences. A raised counter with stools and concealed grilling station frames the dining area, while wood decking sets apart the lounge chaises. Lighting integrated into the planter walls along with other accent landscape lighting has made the terrace garden one of the most used amenities during evening hours.
363 Bond is a full block residential development in the Carroll Gardens neighborhood of Brooklyn, New York. The building includes a sequence of outdoor amenity spaces from the lower level courtyard up to the 13th floor roof garden. The 2nd floor courtyard which sits on a roof deck above parking offers a wonderful place to stroll or sit for quiet reflection. Mondrian patterned landscape forms a mix of sedum plantings and stone dust paths, while on the other end a series of raised hardwood planters creates outdoor living room like spaces. On the 7th floor residents can play shuffleboard, or cool down by the swimming pool while appreciating art on the bulkhead’s and water tank used as a giant art canvas. For the highest level amenity space is at the 8th floor and it provides great views of the surrounding area. An elongated pergola provides shade on sunny days and provides the framework for separate living and dining rooms that each have their own grilling station. Additional spaces are provided on the roof for larger gatherings and smaller groups over a broad lawn area.
365 Bond is a full block residential development in the Carroll Gardens neighborhood of Brooklyn, New York. The building includes a sequence of outdoor amenity spaces from the lower level courtyard up to the 13th floor roof garden. The 2nd floor courtyard which sits on a roof deck above parking offers a wonderful place to stroll or sit for quiet reflection. Undulating land forms and a mix of herbaceous and native plantings screen the perimeter units and surround the central garden labyrinth. An outdoor café area with wood decking and raised perimeter planting provides an intimate area for dining or reading at the sixth floor and an open space with a series of single and double lounge chaises overlooking the adjacent canal provides an area for taking in the sun. The highest level amenity space is at the 13th floor and it provides great views of the surrounding area. An elongated pergola provides shade on sunny days and provides the framework for separate living and dining rooms that each have their own grilling station. Additional spaces are provided on the roof for larger gatherings and smaller groups, all in close proximity to the bar height service counter with seating.
97 Crooke Avenue is a 53 unit, nine story building built on a triangular vacant site in the Flatbush section of Brooklyn. This award winning building offers affordable and supportive housing to qualified residents. WDLA was tasked with designing the entry that enlivens the streetscape featuring a large mounded planted area with a focal sculpture that leads you to the bluestone paved entrance plaza with bench seating, decorative lighting and freestanding planters. The rear yard garden has areas of planting that effectively vary the width of the bluestone paved area and are juxtaposed to the alcoves of garden seating. Interspersed are freestanding raised planters and sculptures. A sculptural perimeter fence composed of three tiers of panel with pickets at random angles and a center panel with perforated metal screens in various shades of green complements the artwork and other components of the rear yard. The distinctive design at 97 Crooke Avenue is an example that proves affordable housing can be sustainable, aesthetically pleasing, have a richness of materials and provide a valuable site amenity for its residents.
CAMBA Gardens II is the second phase of an affordable and supportive housing development in Brooklyn, NY. The landscape features a great lawn surrounded by a number of outdoor spaces on a more intimate scale, including a vegetable garden, a stroll garden and a butterfly garden. A combined play and fitness area is brightened by safety surfacing in alternating bands of red and blue. In the entrance garden on the north side of the building, an ADA ramp wraps around stepped planting beds anchored by a stacked linear paving pattern, while a serpentine band of grasses forms the foundation for a grove of evergreens along the western facade.
Metro Green is a multi-phase, mixed use project adjacent to The Stamford Transportation
Center. The project embraces a sensitive approach to ecological streetscape design and urban planning; gestures currently critical to the city's progressive revitalization plan. Columnar trees provide an architectural urban expression along Atlantic Street leading one to the Stamford Station. Cobble pavements and strips of planting, border both sides of this gracious sidewalk. Materials merge into the corner plaza mediating between the larger commercial property and residential scale. The central feature of the plaza is a "Rain Garden" which expresses a responsible approach to storm water management. The inner courtyard with its inverted sloping grass mound is a powerful approach in acknowledging the economic reality of affordable housing. A gravel path delineates the geometric great lawn, while majestic trees provide shade and screening. At the perimeter of the main path are allotment gardens for residents and undulating beds of prolific planting. A labyrinth is provided for quiet contemplation and environmental awareness.
The South Campus of the City College of New York includes a new School of Architecture, the multi-building Advanced Science Research Center, and four future sites for institutional growth on a sixteen-acre site in northern Manhattan.
Winding paths and picturesque plantings of mature deciduous and coniferous trees frame views, accentuate building edges and entrances and connect the campus to its adjacent landscape. Amphitheater seating and a sloping great lawn provide an outdoor venue for graduation ceremonies and other large-scale events at the college.
The new ASRC complex also includes a "science courtyard garden" where curvilinear forms are nested in the gentle curves of the science buildings. Here researchers, faculty, and students exchange ideas, seeking answers to some of the world’s most intractable health issues.
The Borough of Manhattan Community College commissioned WDLA to correct infrastructure deficiencies and to create a gathering space for their students at a new entrance for the college's performance venue – the TriBeCa Performing Arts Center.
A random checkerboard pavement pattern, with shades of dark and light gray pavers, moves students and visitors through the reconfigured, barrier-free plaza. A series of polished terrazzo seating elements with their curved forms are a welcome contrast to the angles of the buildings and plaza. New signage announces the entrance to the plaza and school from the street and a tall light pylon provides a sculptural focal point to draw people into the plaza.
The combination of all these site elements form a unique and valuable student gathering space that immediately calls attention to the campus entrance and places the College squarely in the emerging Lower Manhattan streetscape.
Fordham University’s plan to expand its Lincoln Center campus required a re-design of the public entry plaza on 60th Street and Columbus Avenue. An important programmatic requirement was to maintain an existing elevator and stair connecting the ground level outdoor entry with the University's raised outdoor campus. Existing mature trees were to be incorporated into the new design, and the site’s significant grade changes were to address issues of accessibility seamlessly.
Weintraub Diaz Landscape Architecture, PLLC was responsible for developing a master plan, integrating both the architectonic demands of the existing building program elements and evolving site constraints in one indoor-outdoor solution. The plaza plan utilizes amorphic forms to bend around, embrace and incorporate all of these conditions into a comprehensive design.
LaGuardia Community College is a City University of New York Community College that occupies two full city blocks and parts of others within Long Island City. The essence of the project was an examination of an urban college campus in a master site plan phase. The essential question posed and responded to is "How can a college campus, and a sequence of campus spaces be developed in what is essentially a standard NYC fifteen foot wide sidewalk with limited setbacks." Our response was to develop an urban campus that CUNY could use as a model for future development and improvement and did so in a way that incorporates PlaNYC 2030 sustainable initiatives. The first phase of installation of WDLA's proposed master plain included signage and identity that required WDLA to navigate through the city agency process and gain approval of a variance for the signs.
The Bernard and Anne Spitzer Schoolof Architecture (formerly the School of Architecture, Urban Design and Landscape Architecture) and Aaron Davis Hall now share a new open space on the City College of New York's Upper Manhattan Campus. A tri-cornered space shaped by these two venues and the adjacent Convent Avenue streetscape, the space is designed for two mutually reinforcing uses that can occur at different times for different sets of users. A south facing lawn provides a much needed outdoor campus space for students to gather, relax, and study. The almost ten foot change in elevation forms a natural amphitheater that allows the arts program of Aaron Davis Hall to use the space for a range of music, dance and theatre performances.
York College, a City University of New York School, is located in the neighborhood of Jamaica, Queens. WDLA designed the Cardinal Walk, a 200 foot long by 16 foot wide "green" crosswalk, providing a critical link between the York College Campus and the surrounding community.
An approximately 2,400 square foot outdoor lounge space on the west end of the connector features ornamental grasses, bulbs and woody shrubs carefully selected to commemorate the college’s colors during different seasons. A red sculptural pergola floats above an asphaltic walkway with granite block “carpets” and custom red glass pavers, another nod to school spirit.
The pergola’s roof was designed to resemble a bird’s nest and is decorated with randomly placed steel tubes and red plexiglass strips that cast random solid and translucent colored shade patterns on the fine aggregate pavement and curved ipe bench below.
Lush planting and indirect, reflective lighting signal a transition from the urban setting to a softer, more relaxed campus environment.
Part of a 240,000 square foot expansion and completed in 2018. WDLA played a key role on a multi-disciplinary team tasked with transforming a 70’s era mall into the hub of a growing community in Staten Island. The design of new amenity spaces, parking lot islands and street scape provide a continuity between new and old while a new pedestrian plaza replete with lush planting and custom seating serves as the nexus of the outdoor experience. Through thoughtful design and close collaboration with the design team and mall owners, WDLA has helped position the mall as not only a retail center, but an asset to the community.
WDLA was chosen as the landscape architect for the Gateway Center Mall expansion in 2014. The Gateway Center North 610,000 square foot expansion added 35 new retail stores and restaurants including landscape courtyards and gardens creating a unique shopping experience.
Designed to provide shoppers with an initial glimpse into the lush courtyards and gardens within the mall, The Gateway Center Mall’s parking has densely planted islands with trees, seashore type shrubs and grasses that serve to dissipate heat island concerns and capture storm water.
The town center and plaza courtyard is a welcoming landscape of trees, raised planters, various types of custom designed seating opportunities, distinctive lighting and decorative paving.
Connecting Gateway Center Phase II and the original Gateway Phase I is a distinctive raised curvilinear wood boardwalk of varying widths and sculptural fence that weaves through and above the rain garden. The tiered rain garden is planted with a variety of trees, shrubs, grasses and herbaceous perennials that are functional and aesthetically pleasing. It is a beautiful surprise that is unveiled after passing under the clock tower that often has shoppers standing along the edge and taking in the unique combination of plants set in spiraling concrete and stone-lined beds arcing around, through and under the boardwalk.
This LEED Silver Certified expansion has created a unique shopping experience that draws residents from all of Brooklyn. A living testament that shopping centers can be beautiful and sustainable.
Rego Park Development is a +5 acre site in Queens, adjacent to the Long Island Expressway. It includes 7 levels of retail and garage set in a two building base bisected by a street level galleria with a 300 ft. residential tower built on the roof of the retail base. WDLA tasks included designs for the street level galleria, the multi-use building terrace, streetscape, greening of the garage facade and connection to an existing NYC Park. WDLA’s work required coordination with three architectural consultants and the Queens office of the Department of City Planning.
The design for the shopping galleria which has become a major shopping destination in the area provides street level access to the retail buildings as well as providing a link between the busy commercial activities of Junction Boulevard with the surrounding residential neighborhood.
The Gallery at Westbury Plaza is Equity One’s first ground up retail project in the New York metropolitan area. Equity One’s approach was to develop an “upscale” retail strip center with covered pedestrian spaces. WDLA was asked to design a retail landscape that included stone and concrete sidewalks with designated “living rooms” for outdoor seating, planters and planting, recommended site lighting and perimeter and parking area lighting. As part of our services WDLA worked closely with E.W. Howell, the contractor, the retailers, and the owner’s representative on an array of pavement approaches to retain the quality of the initial design yet bring the hardscape in on budget.
WDLA was brought on as the prime landscape architect in the renovation of an existing privately owned public plaza in lower Manhattan. WDLA worked closely with ownership and the New York City Planning commission to transform the dark and uninviting existing plaza into open and bright plaza that acts as an entrance to a private luxury apartment unit and an open air café. Through the use of custom screen walls that support flowering vines along with custom varied seating opportunities, this code adherent plaza has become more inviting and better suited to serve the residents of 15 Cliff and the greater community as a whole.
The Plaza on Church Street is a through block "bonus plaza" in Lower Manhattan affiliated with a 900’ mixed residential and hospitality building designed by Robert A. M. Stern Architects. The open plan of the central space allows for flexible use, with moveable furniture gathered around a circular pool. A tree canopied outdoor seating room is situated on the central axis at each plaza end, providing shade and moments for repose. Tying the three main spaces together are three specially designed water features, axially aligned, with sculptural glass elements suspended on elegant metal posts. Rich stone pavement, luscious planting, delicate lighting and generous seating combine to enable the property owner to qualify for a bulk bonus from the New York City Planning Commission.
Big Screen Plaza is a through block bonus plaza on 29th street in Manhattan. Comprised of a two separate - but connected spaces, one enters the plaza at 30th Street beneath a canopied seating arcade as a shallow reflection pool and two specimen trees draw the visitor towards 29th street where a dramatic angled green roof frames a large HD screen. An essential element of Kimpton’s Hotel Eventi the plaza performs as an entertainment venue, art gallery and place of gathering.
Bosque and fountain combine to anchor a small urban piazza in the Chambersburg neighborhood of Trenton, NJ. The sunny piazza is softened by an accessible lawn, and a gridded canopy of deciduous trees. An obelisk transformed punctuates the central fountain. Glass and shaped perforated panels are layered onto a metal frame studded with lighting, which changes with the color of season, events and calendar.
All of the furnishings have also been designed for the piazza by WDLA. Fabricated out of perforated sheet metal, they offer a counterpoint to the honorific obelisk. The piazza is designed to accommodate a farmer’s market that will surround the fountain and occupy the space when it is not being used as a celebratory venue. The plaza plan allows active, festive users to share space with those whose preference is an afternoon snooze in dappled shade.
As the Prime consultant for two phases of Newark Riverfront Park, WDLA aided the city of Newark in a successful effort to begin the process of reclaiming the Passaic River waterfront. Situated on a three and a half acre brownfield site along the Passaic River, the damage industries had inflicted on the site and adjacent Superfund site made the area inaccessible to the community. Featuring meandering multi-use/multi-level paths that weave their way through varying topography, tranquil alcoves for quiet reflection, interpretative signage, an active performance space for multi-cultural celebrations and a waterfront esplanade. Newark Riverfront Park was the culmination of an extensive interactive community design workshop and outreach effort dubbed “2 cents from 2 percent”.
Newark Riverfront Park has received several awards and has been extensively published.
New Jersey Future
2014 Smart Growth Award Winner
U. S. Environmental Protection Agency
2015 National Award for Smart Growth Achievement
U. S. Environmental Protection Agency
2015 National Award for Smart Growth Achievement
American Society of Landscape Architects
New York Chapter
2016 Merit Award
The Waterfront Center
2018 Excellence on the Waterfront Honor Award
Publications The New York Times
July 20, 2013 Art & Design Article
“Newark Revival Wears Orange Along the River”
Landscape Architecture Magazine
August, 2014 Featured Article
“Honest to Goodness – Lee Weintraub is helping Newark see what its abused waterfront can be”
The Park is located on a former brownfield site in the once isolated and troubled Red Hook section of Brooklyn. Previously closed off to the neighborhood by the New York Shipyard, Erie Basin Park provides public access to the waterfront and is a significant contributor to a community renaissance. The 6-1/2 acre park represents a model of public/private partnerships transforming abandoned waterfront properties. The result has been the creation of one of the most significant waterfront parks in New York City. The Park includes a series of multi-use paths that meander through the landscape and along an esplanade along Erie Basin, restoration of several piers and shipyard cranes and artifacts, a water taxi dock for visitors from Manhattan and various seating opportunities and overlooks. Erie Basin Park has received several awards and has been extensively published.
American Society of Landscape Architects
New York Chapter
2016 Honor Award
Annual Honor Award 2010
2009 Merit Award
Landscape Architecture Magazine
“The Park IKEA Built – If a big-box retailer builds a park on a former Brooklyn shipyard, what happens to remnants of the site’s gritty past?”
The Architects Newspaper
September 3, 2008
“Erie Basin Park – Red Hook lost a shipyard, but gained a new, mile-long stretch of public waterfront”
Landscape Architect and Specifier News
To be released Spring/2016 Featured Article
“Erie Basin Park – Dramatic Lighting Features”
Brooklyn Bay Center is a waterfront esplanade and park located on a brownfield site that was built in conjunction with a BJ’s shopping center and parking structure. WDLA’s design included an entry pergola, stabilization of the waterfront edge, paths of varying pervious materials, various types of seating and tables, rain gardens for storm water management of runoff, planting and framing gorgeous views of the harbor and Verrazano Bridge. Being a brownfield site along a waterbody, approvals and permits were required from NYC DEP as well as several other City agencies because of the many environmental issues that needed to be addressed. From initial design through construction, the project also required close coordination with the NYC Parks Department, who has jurisdiction over the public esplanade.
Gowanus Canal Park is a public open space being developed as part of the residential building complex located at 363-365 Bond Street in Brooklyn, NY. The public portion of the project consists of a streetscape connection to the waterfrontpark and esplanade. The streetscape connection to the surrounding neighborhood features sidewalk plantings that incorporate bioswales as part of an overall storm water management strategy. The waterfront park features various types of seating, distinctive paving, an esplanade along the Gowanus Canal’s edge and floating docks for boat launching. As a public open space, the completed park was reviewed and approved by the NYC Parks Department as meeting their standards. Because of its proximity to a body of water and intertidal wetlands, the project required approval and permits from both the NYS DEC and the NYC DEP along with strategies to keep unfiltered stormwater from flowing into the Canal.
Spring Creek Towers is a 150-acre development in Brooklyn with 46 high rise structures, housing over 15,000 residents. WDLA reimagined the 30 year old master plan for the complex, creating smaller neighborhood units centered on five new community parks. At approximately 8 acres each, they encompass active play areas for children with seating, basketball, gardens and plantings.
The images represent “Disk Park” after its completion in 2011 and Scarecrow Park after completion in 2012, two of the five parks in the community.
The design of the New York Hall of Science Preschool Playground is deliberately low-tech. Natural elements and forces, sand combined with water, water and gravity, light and shadows, are used to shape sensory experiences. Children control the conveyance of materials utilizing interactive pumps and pulleys, discovering principles of physics.
A park is where a city’s children first connect with the environment and learn from it. Nature is an integral part of sensory experiences for young children and an understanding of their symbiotic relationship to nature fosters life-long ecological awareness. The environment is significant to all cultures and is a unifying element for the diverse local community of the Borough of Queens. To best serve this community immediately surrounding the playground, where more than 140 languages are spoken, the Playground was designed to be simply experienced with all senses.