If had to hot desk in a New York office building, I’d choose the Ford Foundation building. Architecturally, it’s striking, but inside it’s home to the most unexpected, magical sight most people visiting New York probably don’t know is there – a magnificent lush tropical garden growing inside the lobby!
Push open the heavy glass door and you find yourself standing in an incredible glass foyer, filled with towering trees, hanging ferns, the smell of gardenias and the sound of water. It’s an inspiring and transporting space that feels a million miles from the craziness of Manhattan’s streets – what’s even more incredible is that although it’s a privately owned space, it’s open to the public daily.
Built in 1967 as the home of Henry Ford’s humanitarian charity organisation, the 12-story-high building made of two giant glass walls and ceiling pretty much act as a huge greenhouse, creating tropical conditions for plant life, where lush giant trees dwarf shrubs, magnolias and garden terraces which slope down to verdant water pools.
Stretching up to the roof on two sides, the open-plan offices of the Ford Foundation allow people working there to look out across the tropical forest into each other’s offices. To keep the plants alive, real rainfall is collected on the roof and is added to the steam condensation from inside to water the plants and fill the water pools.
Visit The Ford Foundation building at 1440 Broadway.