Oculus - Winter 2014 - (Page 18)
one block over
As a "museum of architecture" rises along the lush,
elevated park, some streetscapes are coming to life
BY CLAIRE WILSON
uild it and they will come." This quote from
the film, Field of Dreams, is often used when
referring to the High Line and the unprecedented
residential, commercial, and cultural development
along the 1.4-mile-long elevated railroad-turnedleafy park, whose final phase opened in September. While some call the park the greatest urban
redevelopment project of the Bloomberg Administration, it is certainly one of the biggest and most
ambitious in the city's recent history.
Designed by James Corner Field Operations,
Diller Scofidio + Renfro, and horticulturist Piet
Oudolf, the High Line runs from Gansevoort
Street in the meatpacking district to West 34th
Street. Its surrounding corridor has been called
a "museum of architecture" and an "architectural
petting zoo" that now includes the new Renzo
Piano Building Workshop-designed Whitney
Museum, set to open next year. The effect is an unusual patchwork of glass, metal, and embossed and
pierced metal in building styles that range from
Gehry Partners' squat, schooner-like IAC building and Tamarkin Co.'s industrial style informed
by early 20th-century factories, to Atelier Jean
Nouvel's whimsical window patterns, and Neil M.
Denari Architects' cantilevered building.
Oculus Winter 2014
(right) Under the High Line
along 10th Avenue at 17th
Street, looking south.
(below, left) Mathews Nielsen
designed the street-level
courtyard for Robert A.M.
Stern Architects' 312-unit
Abington House to reflect the
paving and plantings of the
High Line - and thrive in its
(below, right) Renzo Piano's
Whitney Museum, under
construction, and the
Standard Hotel by Ennead
Architects, which straddles
the High Line.
©James S. Russell
Not All High Line
Highlights Are On
Robert A.M. Stern Architects' 312-unit Abington House at 29th Street takes its cues from the
High Line with a street-level garden and a series
of four terraces, common spaces for tenants' use,
designed by Mathews Nielsen Landscape Architects. Beginning with the lowest terrace, which
is level with the High Line, the design is meant
to evoke a mountain as it ascends. Each level has
different plant material chosen to reflect varying "climactic" conditions, such as more wind up
high and sunlight, shade, and water at street level.
The walkways and landscaped beds at street level
are laid out around High Line support columns.
"We wanted people to look at our landscape as if
it were part of the High Line," says Signe Nielsen,
RLA, FASLA, principal, Mathews Nielsen. "We
interpreted how the paving and plantings weave
in and out of each other."
Galleries still thrive here, and that artsy vibe is
an important part of the neighborhood's appeal,
according to Cary Tamarkin, AIA, principal, Tamarkin Co., architect of three area buildings. "It has
a younger, artistic bent and a cool factor you don't
find on the Lower East Side or West Village," says
Tamarkin. "There is a young energy about it that is
unprecedented." David Falk, president, Newmark
Grubb Knight Frank New York Tristate region, a
commercial real-estate firm, notes that vibe spillover is bringing companies like Google, Twitter,
Apple, Samsung, and the Food Network to former
warehouses along Ninth Avenue. "The location
says those brands are hip, cool, and forward-thinking," he says.
Retail along West 14th Street will get a boost
when the Whitney opens, but for the moment,
stretches of 10th Avenue have little foot traffic and
none of the banks and chain pharmacies so ubiquitous in other residential areas. "The neighborhood
needs retail and will get it," Tamarkin says. "Build
it and they will come."
Claire Wilson writes for the New York Times.
Changing Skyline/Evolving Streets
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Oculus - Winter 2014
First Words: Letter from Two Presidents - Vision and Transition
Letter from the Editor - Tall Is as Tall Does
Center for Architecture - Center Highlights
One Block Over - Not All High Line Highlights Are On the Skyline: As a “museum of architecture” rises along the lush, elevated park, some streetscapes are coming to life
Opener: Of Sidewalks and Skylines
Hello, We’re at a Place Called Vertigo - 57th Street is sprouting residential supertalls. With great height comes great expectations. What aspects of these buildings earn so much of the sky?
Tower at the Crossroads - One Vanderbilt sculpts its top and bottom to trade additional floors for street-level amenity
The Mid-block Move - Side streets aren’t just for background buildings anymore
In Step with the Neighborhood - The new BAM South development is designed with equal attention to Downtown Brooklyn’s skyline and streetlevel civic space
LULU Hits the Streets - A sanitation garage shows how to make a Locally Undesirable Land Use...desirable
Just Another Messy Urban Neighborhood - Remarkable simply for being normal, Melrose Commons flourishes where the Bronx once burned
New Practices New York 2014 - Farms, think tanks, sausages, and nomadic operations – just some of the things these young design firms are focusing on
In Print - How Paris Became Paris: The Inventio
80-Year Watch - Le Corbusier’s first sight of Manhattan’s skyscrapers evoked a controversial yet prophetic response
Last Words - Hit the Road
Index to Advertisers - Alphabetical & Categorical Index
Oculus - Winter 2014
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