HL23 by NMDA. Renderings by Hayes Davidson
Developed by Alf Naman and currently in construction, HL23 is a 14 floor condominium tower that responds to a unique and challenging site directly adjacent to the High Line at 23rd street in New York’s West Chelsea Arts district. Partially impacted by a spur from the elevated tracks that make up the High Line superstructure, the site is 40′ x 99′ at the ground floor.
NMDA's work with clients is based on a mutual need to make design a key element in solving problems and in projecting an image.
The site and the developer demanded a specific response, yielding a project that is a natural merger between found and given parameters and architectural ambition. For the client, the question was how to expand the possible built floor area of a restricted zoning envelope. For the site, a supple geometry must be found to allow a larger building to stand in very close proximity to the elevated park of the High Line. Together, the demands produced a building with one unit per floor and three distinct yet coherent facades, a rarity in Manhattan’s block structure.
Renderings by Hayes Davidson, London / copyright 2008
With a custom non-spandrel curtainwall on the south and north facades, and a 3D stainless steel panel facade on the east facing the High Line, the project’s geometry is driven by challenges to the zoning envelope on the site and by NMDA’s interest in achieving complexity through simple tectonic operations.
The disused High Line before the architectural intervention
The New York High Line was constructed in the 1930s and is a 1.5-mile-long historic elevated rail structure on the West Side of Manhattan, passing the famous Meatpacking District. The today disused High Line was the object of an international competition, which was organised by the City of New York and the Friends of the High Line (FHL), a non-profit organization dedicated to the preservation and reuse of the High Line.
Landscape architecture by Field Operations
The team of Field Operations (landscape architecture) and Diller Scofidio + Renfro (architecture) were finally selected to begin design work on the High Line. In June the first section of the green promenade will be opened.
Architecture by Diller Scofidio + Renfro
Diller Scofidio + Renfro:
“Inspired by the melancholic, unruly beauty of this postindustrial ruin, where nature has reclaimed a once vital piece of urban infrastructure, the new park interprets its inheritance. It translates the biodiversity that took root after it fell into ruin in a string of site-specific urban microclimates along the scratch of railway that include sunny, shady, wet, dry, windy, and sheltered spaces.Through a strategy of agri-tecture – part agriculture, part architecture – the High Line surface is digitised into discrete units of paving and planting which are assembled along the 1.5 miles into a variety of gradients from 100% paving to 100% soft, richly vegetated biotopes. The paving system consists of individual pre-cast concrete planks with open joints to encourage emergent growth like wild grass through cracks in the sidewalk. The long paving units have tapered ends that comb into planting beds creating a textured, “pathless” landscape where the public can meander in unscripted ways. The park accomodates the wild, the cultivated, the intimate and the social. Access points are durational experiences designed to prolong the transition from the frenetic pace of city streets to the slow otherworldly landscape above.”
"1.5 miles variety of gradients from 100% paving to 100% soft, richly vegetated biotopes"
to the Diller Scofidio + Renfro website
to the Field Operations website
to the Friends of the High Line website
The inflatable structure of 'Spacebuster'
The Berlin based interdisciplinary collective raumlabor was founded in 1999 and is focused on visionary projects in urban and architectural contexts.
Their latest project Spacebuster is a mobile inflatable structure – a portable, expandable pavilion which is mounted on a van and provided place to a 10-day programme of lectures, workshops, screenings and performances, organised by the New York based gallery Storefront.
raumlabor was invited by the New York based gallery Storefront
“The pavilion is comprised of an inflatable bubble-like dome that emerges from a step van that also houses the compressor that keeps the Spacebuster inflated. The dome expands and organically adjusts to its surroundings, be it in a field, a wooded park, or below a highway overpass.”
'Spacebuster' provided place to a 10 day programme of lectures, workshops, screenings and performances.
to the raumlabor website