"THE HIGH LINE'S RESPONSIBLE FOR NEW
YORK'S BEST UPCOMING ARCHITECTURE"

| 6 comments

Dezeen and MINI World Tour: in our second movie from New York, designer Stephen Burks takes us to the High Line and explains how the elevated park is helping to transform the surrounding areas of the city.

Stephen Burks on the High Line New York
The High Line, New York

Designed by landscape architects James Corner Field Operations along with architects Diller Scofidio + Renfro and garden designer Piet Oudolf, the High Line park runs through New York's Chelsea neighbourhood along the lower west side of Manhattan on 1.5 miles of repurposed elevated railway.

Stephen Burks on the High Line New York

"For decades [the High Line] was an overgrown railroad track, left over from an era when elevated trains roared through Manhattan," says Burks. "Today it's a multi-million dollar park that's welcoming hundreds of thousands of visitors a day."

Stephen Burks on the High Line New York

The park was completed in 2009 and Burks believes the project has been the catalyst for the regeneration of the Chelsea area and the Meatpacking District next to it.

Stephen Burks on the High Line New York
100 11th Avenue by Jean Nouvel

"The High Line is really connecting the dots of the city's best upcoming architecture," he says, pointing out Jean Nouvel's 2010 apartment block 100 11th Avenue and Shigeru Ban's Metal Shutter House, completed in 2011, both of which cluster around an earlier Frank Gehry office building.

Stephen Burks on the High Line New York
Shigeru Ban's Metal Shutter House pressed up alongside Frank Gehry's IAC Building

A little further along the park is HL23, a new apartment building by Niel Denari, which Burks explains is the American architect's "first multi-story building in America".

Stephen Burks on the High Line New York
HL23 by Niel M. Denari Architects

Further north again is Hôtel Americano, designed by Mexican architect Enrique Norten of TEN Arquitectos, which features a new bar in the basement by German artist Tobias Rehberger.

http://www.dezeen.com/2013/05/18/new-york-bar-oppenheimer-by-tobias-rehberger/
New York Bar Oppenheimer by Tobias Rehberger

At the southern end of the park, construction is underway on Renzo Piano's new building for The Whitney Museum of American Art, which is moving across town to the Meatpacking District from it's current location on Madison Avenue on the upper east side of Manhattan.

"All of these new contemporary projects probably wouldn't have been placed here had it not been for the High Line," says Burks.

Stephen Burks on the High Line New York

Burks is also a big fan of the High Line itself. "Some of the things that I love about the High Line in terms of design is the way that they've seamlessly integrated the design elements with nature and with elements that look like it just kind of happened," he goes on to say.

"[It's] almost as if this very beautiful paved surface with finger-like projections into the lawns just landed here amongst the wild grasses, amongst the trees. It's a great work of landscape architecture."

Stephen Burks on the High Line New York

We drove to the High Line in our MINI Cooper S Paceman.

The music featured in the movie is a track called You Go To My Head by Kobi Glas. You can listen to the full version on Dezeen Music Project.

  • Silky Johnson

    Was that guy on Howard Stern's show?

  • Vincent

    Diller and Scofidio, thanks for a great idea. Piet Oudolf, thanks for making it brilliant.

    Since architects tend to have a limited knowledge about plants species, growth, seasons, thickness, layers, colours etc, their green designs tend to turn out flat like a green AutoCAD field.

    Now it looks like wild nature richly enhanced.

  • Colonel Pancake

    By best, I assume he actually means worst.

  • Josh

    In the video the presenter mentioned that the whole project was designed by the architecture consultant but in fact the team was lead by the landscape architect JCFO. Please get the facts straight.

  • http://twitter.com/Land8 @Land8

    Fantastic video. Thank you for highlighting that “it’s a great work of landscape architecture.” Although, Josh is right. The team was lead by James Corner Field Operations, which was missed in the video but pointed out in the text. Either way, NY’s got the credit!

  • http://www.object-agency.com jpo

    While Stephen’s point may have some validity in terms of the idea of “new” architecture, and that indeed the High Line (an excellent urban intervention) has generated “growth” and new building, most of the architecture is at best mediocre.

    Nouvel’s building is terrible, Gehry’s is a truncated stump – that admittedly glows like a jewel in the evening darkness – and Shigeru Ban’s is sandwiched and hardly articulated. Denari’s is an interesting experiment, but not a good place to live.

    The challenge is not to have more average buildings by “starchitects”, but to have more good buildings.