Design

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Author: 
Patrick Hazari
Enlargenorthern spur

Work is quickly progressing at the Northern spur, a horticultural preserve located on a portion of the High Line that juts across 10th Avenue, just north of Chelsea Market.  The landscape at the Northern spur is designed to recall the self-sown landscape that grew up on the High Line after the trains stopped running. The High Line's landscape team planted over 7,500 native grasses and perennials in early November, before the soil froze.

Construction crews are now beginning to install non-slip, brushed-aluminum grating panels along a ramped structure that will provide access to and from the lower level. At the mid-point of the ramp, a cantilevered overlook will offer visitors views of both the preserve below them, and of the city beyond.

More photos after the break.

Author: 
Anonymous
Categories: 
Photo by Barry Munger.
Friends of the High Line's Deputy Director of Horticulture talks about planting on the High Line, working with Field Operations and Planting Designer Piet Oudolf, and creating a maintenance plan for the new landscape.

Where were you before coming to Friends of the High Line, and what drew you to the High Line project?

I was at the Horticultural Society of New York as the director of a community horticulture program called GreenBranches.  We worked with the community, transitional work crews, and local designers to install, maintain, and program public gardens in underserved neighborhoods around the city.
I was drawn to the High Line as one of the most intriguing projects in urban gardening I could ever imagine. 

What was unique about the landscape that grew on the High Line after the trains stopped running?

It's a fascinating example of how plants just work themselves out.  A diverse mix of grasses, asters, mosses, shrubby colonizers and weed trees gradually took hold in mere inches of railroad ballast mixed with decomposing dust and soil.  Seeds and pollen were deposited on the Line by the train cars that once ran along it, and by birds, wind, and the occasional trespasser.   The plant species that were most adaptable to harsh weather, urban pollution, and total neglect grew into the beautifully-wild space that was the found High Line landscape, as the world went on unknowingly just below.
Author: 
Patrick Hazari
Enlarge

Friends of the High Line's office recently got a new addition: a 9 foot-by-18 foot aerial High Line wall map in our reception area. The map shows the High Line's design in context: the entire line is visible as it moves north from the West Village, through Chelsea, to the West Side Rail Yards.

The unusual view from above reveals the complex relationship between the High Line and its neighborhood. You can see the surrounding built environment as a series of blocks, streets, and related and unrelated structures, seemingly stitched together by the common thread of the High Line. You can see where the line literally passes through buildings, which familiar neighborhood landmarks it nears and touches, and how it parallels the Hudson River. Here at our office, we can't stop looking at it.

Download your own version of this map for your desktop!

Click the size you would like to download:

Small monitor: 800 x 600 pixels
Medium-size monitor: 1024 x 768 pixels
Large-size monitor: 1280 1024 pixels
Wide-screen monitor: 1680 x 1050 pixels

 

Instructions for downloading the wallpaper after the jump!


Author: 
Patrick Hazari
Enlarge

At the corner of Gansevoort Street and Washington Street, the High Line's southern terminus marks one of the parks major access points and gathering spaces. This corner is also the future location of the Whitney Museum of American Art. A paved, street-level public plaza will act as a meeting and orientation point for visitors to learn more about the High Line and will also house a small concessions area. An opening cut into the structure of the High Line allows for a steel and aluminum stair, supported by a stainless-steel rod hanger system, to gently touch the plaza level. The stair invites visitors to ascend from the busy street below to the elevated landscape on the High Line. While on the stairs, visitors pass between existing six-foot high beams, giving one a better understanding of the High Line's robust structure.

A few weeks ago, the High Line's signature "slow stairs" were delivered and installed. See a few of the images below after the break:

Author: 
Anonymous

High Line grasses and perennials arrived onsite at 6am this morning. Friends of the High Line Deputy Director of Horticulture Melissa Fisher is working on the installation of the plants along with the High Line construction and landscape team including: SiteWorks, Kelco Landscaping, Inc., The Plant Group, planting designer Piet Oudolf, and landscape architects Field Operations.

Author: 
Patrick Hazari
agritecture

The planks have been installed, the soil has started to arrive on site and the plants and trees are on their way. But what you might not realize is how all of this has come about. Welcome to the first installation in a series of blog posts looking specifically at the design of the High Line. Each week until the opening of Section 1 later this year, we will highlight final designs for Sections 1 and 2 of the High Line. Along with diagrams and design renderings, construction drawings and images will give you behind the scenes look at what promises to be an amazing park.

Since the release of the competition finalists in July 2004 and the selection of Field Operations and Diller Scofidio + Renfro later that summer, everyone near and far has always been intrigued with the design. With its thought-provoking ideas and a funky idea called Agri-tecture, New Yorkers embraced it and called it our own. Let's revisit the winning competition entry that is now becoming a reality thanks to supporters and advocates like you.

Statement by the design team describing AGRI-TECTURE:
"By changing the rules of engagement between plant life and pedestrians, our strategy of AGRI-TECTURE combines organic and building materials into gradients of changing proportions that accommodate a variety of natural and programmatic conditions. Part agriculture / part architecture the system digitizes the High Line surface into discrete units of paving and planting that could be organized in any combination from 100% hard paving to 100% soft richly vegetated biotopes, or any gradation in between. The surface is built from individual pre-cast concrete planks with open joints to encourage emergent growth like wild grass through cracks in the sidewalk. The long, gradually tapering units are designed to comb into planting beds creating a "pathless" landscape' where the public can meander in unscripted ways."

More photos after the break

Author: 
melissafisher
Categories: 
EnlargePhoto credit goes here.
 

Soil for the planting beds is set to be delivered this month on Section One. In anticipation of soil, the beds are now being lined with layers of the "Living Roof" system. 

The first layer to be installed: The drainage panel, a black plastic cell system, provides a critical component for water retention, drainage, and aeration.  The panel looks and feels like an expansive plastic egg carton, with small cups that catch and store water as it exits the soil profile.  The spaces between these cups help channel excess water toward planting bed drains, while tiny perforations in the cups allow for aeration to the soil from below.


EnlargePhoto credit goes here.
Author: 
Danya Sherman
block partyWe throw a good party! This is the Kitchen High Line
Block Party last year

Come celebrate the launch of our new design publication on July 30 under the High Line!

Author: 
Danya Sherman
The High Line is well on its way to becoming New York's first park in the sky, with plants taking root in late summer and the first section on schedule to open by the end of 2008. Keep up to date with the High Line's progress here on the Blog, written by Friends of the High Line's staff members:

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