Courtyard by Marriott New York Manhattan/World Trade Center Area Courtyard by Marriott New York Manhattan/World Trade Center Area / New York City, New York , USA

Courtyard by Marriott New York Manhattan/World Trade Center Area

Functions: Shading
Applications: Facades
Attachment: Eclipse
The mesh allowed us to do the seemingly impossible: create a single element that could function as both a solid wall and open window. We were able to satisfy legal requirements, meet the demands of the city, give the developers the rooms they needed, strategically optimize square footage, and clad our podium in a unique glowing veil that transforms from day to night.
- Danny Forster, Danny Forster & Architecture
  • Location: New York City, New York , USA
  • Year Completed: 2017
  • End Use: Hotel
  • Architect of Record: Peter Poon Architects
  • Prime Design Firm: Danny Forster & Architecture
  • General Contractor: Omnibuild, New York City, NY
  • Developer: Hidrock Properties
  • Installer: L & S Erectors, Litchfield, Ohio
  • Owner: Robert Finvarb Companies and private investors


The 317-room Courtyard by Marriott sits on the perimeter of the orignal World Trade Center site and is just steps from National September 11 Memorial and Museum and One World Trade Center and Observatory.  For the 30-story property, Cambridge Architectural provided 4,109 square feet of Mid-Balance mesh that provides a beautiful sunshade for the lower floors of the hotel and an architecturally arresting podium.  The mesh also proved to be an innovative solution for meeting New York City zoning and building codes.


As architects designed the hotel exterior, a problem developed that was ultimately solved by the installation of a metal mesh screen-wall. Zoning laws in lower Manhattan require street walls to be held to a height of 85 feet, meaning buildings cannot be set back until they rise above that height. This requirement would have created a podium with guest rooms that were too long and deep.  One possible solution - installing an extra facade around the building -- blocked light and air to guest rooms and would not pass building codes. By creating a metal mesh screen with 50% opacity, designers struck the right balance to convince city officials that it was both a wall (meeting zoning law) and a window (meeting building codes). In place, the mesh provides protection from the sun as well as passive cooling for the guest rooms on the bottom 5 floors of the hotel tower.  Breaks in the mesh still allow for views of the September 11 Memorial.


By creating the mesh screen-wall and pulling back the acutal interior walls by seven feet, right-sized guest rooms were achieved. This also gave the designers 3,600 square feet of usable floor-area-ratio (FAR) that could be redistributed to the top of the building to create a roof top bar.


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