Urban Greenspace Renovation Creates Community

Redefining the concrete jungle, Amsterdam Vale is a collection of upgraded historic walk-up apartment buildings on the Upper West Side that have infused sustainable elements and urban greenspace into their revitalization.

Smith & Architects designed nature into the renovation of elements that serve and connect eight buildings on Amsterdam Avenue and 83rd Street. A wall of moss in the gatehouse, flowering vines on the custom iron facade canopy, as well as a residential garden space with native plants and rocks to allow now offer residents a more balanced, integrated community.

Urban Greenspace Renovation Creates Community

Amsterdam Vale: Designing Wildness

Take a tour through the design with Smith & Architects

The McLaren Difference: Applied Ingenuity

McLaren Engineering Group provided structural and civil engineering consulting services, construction administration, and temporary shoring design for the Amsterdam Vale Project, a suite of brand-new upgraded apartments on NYC’s Upper West Side. The primary scope of the project centered around connecting two previously underused backyard areas differing in elevations to create a community urban greenspace for residents.

McLaren conducted an initial due diligence investigation, reviewed the existing drainage system, and developed conceptual options for the proposed drainage and potential water features requirements in the plaza area. To connect the lower and upper yard areas, McLaren designed the new stair structure; in addition, we designed the new steel framework necessary to create an elevated platform for the proposed planting area at the alleyway. The existing tenant decks and privacy fences were removed and replaced with new deck structures; the upper yard area was excavated to be able to provide a lower grade/garden level, the excavation required the design of new concrete retaining walls and steel/concrete stairs to access the different tenant units. During excavation and construction, temporary shoring design services were provided to stabilize the existing rubble foundation walls.

At the entrance point of the new garden space on Amsterdam Avenue, McLaren also provided structural engineering services to renovate the existing single-story annex building. The existing roof structure for this building was removed completely and a new roof framing system was designed for what became the new package/mail room and main access point to the new urban greenspace.