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Case Studies  > Reclaiming Manhattan’s West Side with Concrete
Renowned New York architect chooses concrete for innovative mixed-use development
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Mosaic Rendering 1

Rendering courtesy of FXFowle Architects, P.C.

Dan Kaplan is driven by the “thrill of urban life” and buildings he designs are a reflection of that.  With the award-winning architect’s latest project, the Mosaic on the West Side of Manhattan, he has set out to “repair the urban fabric” by redeveloping a multi-block parcel of land to create an efficient and versatile assemblage of buildings.  Concrete was a natural choice for this project; its strength and durability enabled Kaplan to reclaim part of the Clinton neighborhood for New Yorkers with his design.  The Mosaic demonstrates Kaplan’s commitment to urban spaces and to devising innovative solutions to bring people together. 


". . City Making"
For Kaplan, sustainable design goes beyond building energy efficient structures and focuses on what he calls “good city-making.”  His philosophy is to “create models of feasible urban living, limiting travel.  As architects we need to create compelling models of density and dense development that creates more a environmentally sustainable model than horizontal sprawls.”  Given that space is a limited and precious commodity on Manhattan, architects designing a building in New York can have their creativity constrained.  However, using concrete, Kaplan created a new opportunity to strengthen and expand the Clinton neighborhood.  Concrete effectively bridges over old infrastructure creating a vibrant space, where it was previously uninhabitable.  “We couldn’t have accomplished this with any material other than concrete,” says Kaplan. 


Mosaic Rendering 2
Rendering courtesy of FXFowle Architects, P.C.
When completed, the development will be a model of efficiency, with a wide array of green building features.  With an eclectic range of purposes, the Mosaic will be a monument to innovative design.  The Mosaic is a mixed-use development designed as “mixing bowl” of public and private spaces to offer an attractive, convenient environment of city-living.  To accomplish this feat, the project will utilize a total of 34,000 cubic yards of concrete in its residential, cultural and commercial uses.  It will include two, twenty-four story residential towers rising high above two black box theaters that will be home to the Ensemble Studio Theater and the Intar Hispanic American Arts Center theater companies.  At the heart of the complex will be a sloped central green space that will connect the various buildings.  The building features a wide array of sustainable features including: recycled structural content, improved insulation, reduced heat island effect, and high efficiency wall design.  This project began construction in early 2005 and is expected to earn LEED certification from the U.S. Green Building Council, the foremost organization supporting the sustainable development movement.


The design for the Mosaic demonstrates how innovative design concepts and concrete solutions can synergistically solve sustainable development objectives and give back to the environment while offering an appealing option for urban living.  Dan Kaplan’s vision for this space will strengthen the Clinton community on Manhattan’s West Side.

Project Team
Owner:            The Dermot Companies
Architect:        FXFowle Architects, P.C.
Const. Mgr:     Bovis Lend Lease