November 1, 2003
In the country’s first green residential tower, a temporary showcase interior offers lasting ideas.
Designing an apartment to look good is every interior designer’s aim, but simultaneously making it green is a less familiar matter. That was the challenge M. Scott Marks and Tim Button of Stedila Design faced at the Solaire in Battery Park City, the country’s first high-rise sustainable apartment building. In addition to consulting on standard green elements for all of the apartments—flooring, tile, cupboards, countertops—the firm was asked to furnish the seven model apartments for the 29-story building. “We didn’t want sustainable to mean that it had to look one way,” Marks explains. “So we came up with four different ways of looking at the interiors: traditional; modern; a look where we went with more ethnic ideas; and retro contemporary, which turned out to be very Danish looking.”
Curious about the layered decision-making that goes into an eco-friendly interior, Metropolis asked Marks to explain his choices for the retro contemporary two-bedroom apartment. In the notes that follow, it’s clear that green design is a holistic mind-set. “The project has absolutely changed the way I look at everything,” Marks says. “I now incorporate sustainable design at every opportunity.”