Mother Nature Reintroduced with a Modern Twist

Posted in News -

Artificial Rockwork Waterfall

Finding respite in a busy city is no longer far from reach.

Fort Lee inherits an industrial heritage common to any New Jersey metropolitan area. This is perhaps the most important reason for the touch-of-nature feel of The Modern, a flagship property developed by SJP Residential Properties.

The project was designed by Elkus Manfredi Architects and features twin 47-story glass towers rising above a public park, adjoining restaurant and movie theater—all adjacent to the George Washington Bridge. This style and execution truly embrace the city’s natural geologic features and flora.

Outside the Lines (OTL) worked with landscape architect Melillo + Bauer Associates to navigate the delicate balance between nature and urban living in the new development.

OTL designed the project’s fountain, rock-work and waterfalls to recreate nature in an urban environment. The project sits high atop the Hudson River Palisades, and the natural basalt was blasted and exposed across much of the site. Artisans were tasked with duplicating the look of the indigenous rock across the site to enhance the presence of nature and soften the hard edges and stark materials of The Modern architecture. This detailed recreation of the natural environments is summed up in a term coined by OTL: “Geo-believability®.”

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There were challenges to overcome in the construction of the project, which took place over two phases separated by three years. Though the first phase occurred the summer of 2014, phase two had the OTL team facing cold winter temperatures, high winds, limited site access and potential hazards in working on the ground floor while other trades worked on the building above. With safety and precision as its number one priority, OTL created a site-specific safety plan to protect technicians while accomplishing the work and designed a process that allowed construction to continue while protecting against high winds.

The results of this strategic process and artistic implementation speak for themselves. Today, OTL’s waterfall cascades down rockwork near the entrance of the urban paradise, and its stunning fountain brings movement and art to the project’s porte cocheres and lobbies.

The Modern is located at 800 Park Avenue in Fort Lee, New Jersey.