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High Line: The Latest Architecture and News

Journey to the Center of New York: Can Design "Cure" Our Cities?

11:30 - 22 March, 2012
Courtesy of James Ramsey and Dan Barasch
Courtesy of James Ramsey and Dan Barasch

Walk into the cafeteria at the Googleplex and you are nudged into the “right” choice. Sweets? Color-coded red and placed on the bottom shelf to make them just a bit harder to reach. “Instead of that chocolate bar, sir, wouldn’t you much rather consume this oh-so-conveniently-located apple? It’s good for you! Look, we labelled it green!”

Like the Google cafeteria guides you to take responsibility of your health, Google wants to transform the construction industry to take responsibility of the “health” of its buildings. They have been leveraging for transparency in the content of building materials, so that, like consumers who read what’s in a Snickers bar before eating it, they’ll know the “ingredients” of materials to choose the greenest, what they call “healthiest,” options.[2]

These examples illustrate the trend of “medicalization” in our increasingly health-obsessed society: when ordinary problems (such as construction, productivity, etc.) are defined and understood in medical terms. In their book Imperfect Health, Borasi and Zardini argue that through this process, architecture and design has been mistakenly burdened with the normalizing, moralistic function of “curing” the human body. [3]

While I find the idea that design should “force” healthiness somewhat paternalistic and ultimately limited, I don’t think this “medicalized” language is all bad – especially if we can use it in new and revitalizing ways. Allow me to prescribe two examples: the most popular and the (potentially) most ambitious urban renewal projects in New York City today, the High Line and the Delancey Underground (or the Low Line).

More on “curative” spaces after the break. (Trust me, it’s good for you.)

Community Input Meeting / Friends of the High Line

09:30 - 22 February, 2012

Are you an avid lover of the High Line? If you’ve been keeping up with our coverage of the project by James Corner Field Operations and DS+R, then you have been following the development of the High Line’s different sections – such as the early stages for a the design of the Gansevoort entrance and elevated street ampitheater of Stage One, and the picture frame and tree fly over of Stage Two. And, yet the amazing public space is still developing further. Friends of the High Line are presenting initial design concepts for the rail yards section of the High Line, which requires new zoning that would preserve the entire rail yards section, including the Spur, as public open space. At a community input meeting on Monday, March 12, the High Line design team will share their visions and answer questions about the soon-to-be newest part of the project.

More information about the meeting after the break.

Mexico City's High Line Park

09:00 - 22 August, 2011

To say New York’s High Line is a successful project is putting it very lightly. From the moment the overgrown landscape opened, thousands have flocked to experience the amazing public space and dozens have been inspired to incorporate similar urban reuse attitudes in their cities. Ruth Samuelson shared Mexico City’s inspired project which seeks to apply the New York High Line’s sense of serenity to a busy intersection by mid-2012. “The High Line in New York seemed to me a fresh breath of air, completely. Mexico City just needs – within so many streets, so many avenues – respite like this,” explained Daniel Escotto Sánchez, the general coordinator for the city’s Public Space Authority.

More about the project after the break.

Video tour of the High Line Section 2

12:21 - 8 June, 2011

Justin Davidson, architecture critic for New York Magazine, tours the recently opened section 2 of the High Line and describes the city views you can see from there.

Part Two of the High Line Opens / Field Operations + DS+R

09:30 - 8 June, 2011
Philip A. and Lisa Maria Falcone Flyover, the pathway rises eight feet above the High Line, winding through a canopy of trees, between West 25th and West 27th Street, looking South. ©Iwan Baan
Philip A. and Lisa Maria Falcone Flyover, the pathway rises eight feet above the High Line, winding through a canopy of trees, between West 25th and West 27th Street, looking South. ©Iwan Baan

New Yorkers can’t get enough of James Corner Field Operations with Diller Scofidio + Renfro‘s High Line as millions meandered along the refurbished rail tracks enjoying spectacular views of the skyline. And yet, the opening of the High Line in 2009 offered a mere preview of the project’s total grandeur as parts two and three of the 1.45 mile project were still to come. Today, the second phase of the High Line has opened to the public – a section which stretches from West 20th up to West 28th Street. This segment includes a hovering frame that will display people’s silhouettes against the evening sky, an elevated pathway which brings visitors to the level of the trees’ canopy, and a Great Lawn which will be perfect for sun-bathing and a summer time picnic.

After the break you can find a great set of photos from Iwan Baan, via the High Line Facebook Page, and some more information about the project.

The High Line Frenzy

10:00 - 19 July, 2010

It is easy to take for granted the things you grow accustomed to, but ever since the initial idea of revitalizing the High Line began sprouting up, New Yorkers have been taking full advantage of the project and loving every second spent strolling, relaxing and gazing at the West Side’s newest addition. The project has truly piqued locals and tourists’ interests as the elevated promenade is enjoyed as much today as it was on opening day over a year ago.

With such success, it is no surprise, as Kate Taylor reported for the New York Times, that the small office of the Friends of the High Line has received countless calls asking how their cities can also enjoy the High Line effect.

More on Phase Two / Field Operations + DS+R

10:00 - 24 June, 2010
The Spur
The Spur

A few days ago, we shared some information about the second segment of Field Operations and DS+R’s High Line, including construction shots to show the progress being made. Today, we share renderings from the firms which illustrate some of the cool features we can look forward to seeing. The second phase will include a “spur” – a framed space recalling the historical billboards that once attached to the railway, a “floating platform” which rests above the exposed girders, “Chelsea Thicket” – a dense stretch of trees and shrubs, a “flyover” where the walkway rises into the canopy of sumac trees, and of course, a grand lawn for lounging.

Take a look at the renderings after the break, and we’ve also included a video of the whole project to see how the pieces will come together.

Phase 2 of the High Line

10:00 - 20 June, 2010

Field Operations and DS+R’s High Line has been enjoyed by many ever since its opening, but we’ve been waiting patiently for the next segment to be finished. And, thanks to, we’re able to share some recent construction shots of the progress being made.

Check out more photos and more about the second phase after the break.

The New York High Line officially open

14:40 - 9 June, 2009
© Iwan Baan
© Iwan Baan

Photos Iwan Baan

In May 2003, James Corner Field Operations with Diller Scofidio + Renfro competed against 720 teams from 36 countries to win the infrastructure conversion project of the New York City High Line. More than half a decade later, the High Line’s transition to a public park is almost complete. On June 8th, architects, elected officials, and advocates watched as Mayor Michael Bloomberg cut the ceremonial red ribbon, officially announcing the opening of the first of three sections. The new park offers an alluring break from the chaotic city streets as users have an opportunity to experience an elevated space with uninterrupted views of the Hudson River and the city skyline.

More info about the park, including an incredible set of photos by architecture photographer Iwan Baan and a video by Brooklyn Foundry after the break.

UPDATE: We corrected some credits of this project. You can see the full list here.