Design

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Author: 
Andi Pettis
Photo by Beverly IsraelyThe wild legacy of the High Line's landscape is on full display in the summer, when the planting beds are a frenzy of green . Photo by Beverly Israely

The High Line was made by nature when the trains stopped running, and designer Piet Oudolf and the landscape architects of James Corner Field Operations paid tribute to that self-seeded landscape in one of their original design tenets for the High Line: keep it wild.

The plantings on the High Line are meant to change. They mimic the dynamics of a wild landscape. Plants out-compete one another, spread or diminish in number. They drift in the environment to where they can best fill their niches, and their individual seasonal cycles become part of a whole picture. Over the last five years, the work of the High Line gardeners has been to facilitate and enhance the natural processes of growth, change, and movement in the landscape, and at the same time maintain the integrity of the original design by Oudolf and James Corner Field Operations.

Author: 
Jennette Mullaney
Photo by Steven SeveringhausVisitors take in the moon while sitting on the Philip A. and Lisa Maria Falcone Flyover, the elevated walkway on the High Line between West 25th and West 27th Streets. If you'd like to observe the heavens through high-powered telescopes, join us for stargazing with the Amateur Astronomers Association. This free event is held in the park each Tuesday evening, weather permitting, from April through October. Photo by Steven Severinghaus
 

The High Line is an urban oasis, with an emphasis on "urban" – even amid the park's tallest trees, one is still very much aware of the city. Once night falls this impression is even greater, as flowers and branches fade into shadow and the lights of New York City shine brightly in the evening sky.

It is thanks to the High Line's innovative lighting system that the evening cityscape is visible from the park. Designed by Hervé Descottes of L’Observatoire International, the energy-efficient LED lighting is installed no higher than waist-level so that pathways are illuminated without creating overhead glare.

L’Observatoire's International was recently named the jury winner of the Architizer A+ Award in the Architecture + Light category for its work on the High Line. In honor of this achievement, we're presenting a collection of images that capture the magic of this innovative design, and have asked Descottes to share his thoughts on them.

Author: 
Amelia Krales
Photo by Chris ChristianLego enthusiast and photographer Chris Christian snapped this image of a Lego model he created as part of his 2013 “A Lego a Day” project.

The subject of this Photo of the Week caught our eye because of its playful and creative interpretation of one of the park’s iconic design features.

Photographer and Lego enthusiast Chris Christian created this Lilliputian version of one of the rolling lounge chairs from the High Line’s Diller – von Furstenberg Sundeck. During a recent visit to New York earlier this season, he snapped this photo of his creation side-by-side with the real thing. This particular model was the 249th in his 2013 “A Lego a Day” project.

Author: 
Erika Harvey
The new design concept for the High Line at the Rail Yards includes an immersive bowl-shaped structure on the Spur, a wide section of the High Line that extends over 10th Avenue at West 30th Street. Image by James Corner Field Operations and Diller Scofidio + Renfro, courtesy of the City of New York

Tonight we unveiled the latest design concept for the Spur, a unique area within the third section of the High Line at the Rail Yards, at a public presentation at the School of Visual Arts Theatre.

Neighbors, supporters, members, and friends gathered for a presentation of renderings of the Spur by the High Line Design Team’s James Corner of James Corner Field Operations and Ric Scofidio of Diller Scofidio + Renfro, as well as an update on the progress on construction and the project timeline by Friends of the High Line Co-Founder Robert Hammond.

Join us after the jump for the just-released renderings of the Spur.

Author: 
Jennette Mullaney
High Line Co-Founders Joshua David and Robert Hammond accept the Vincent Scully PrizeHigh Line Co-Founders Joshua David and Robert Hammond accept the Vincent Scully Prize at Washington D.C.'s National Building Museum. Photo by Emily Clack Photography

On September 30, Friends of the High Line Co-Founders Joshua David and Robert Hammond were awarded the prestigious Vincent Scully Prize by the National Building Museum for their work in creating our park in the sky. Joshua and Robert were the fifteenth recipients of the prize, which recognizes exemplary scholarship, criticism, or practice in architecture, historic preservation, or urban design.

As part of the award ceremony, Joshua and Robert gave an original talk, "Harnessing Friction," in which they recall their efforts to create a new kind of public space in the High Line. During the speech, they explore the many qualities that make the High Line unique. "Generally, in a park you seek to escape the city," says Joshua. "The High Line was designed to celebrate its urban condition and the built environment that surrounds it," he adds. Below, view a video of speech, which also includes an opening tribute by last year's recipient – the Pulitzer Prize–winning architecture critic Paul Goldberger – and a question-and-answer session with Joshua and Robert.

There are many choice quotes from the ceremony, but perhaps the most inspiring comes from someone who was present only in spirit. Joshua and Robert conclude "Harnessing Friction" with a quote by the great urbanist Jane Jacobs, herself a winner of Vincent Scully Prize: "Cities have the capability of providing something for everybody only because, and only when, they are created by everybody."

Author: 
Kate Lindquist
 

We are getting ready to print the third edition of the High Line Map. Follow us after the jump to see the finalists and vote for your favorite.

Author: 
Kate Lindquist
The great Ada Louise Huxtable, standard setter for architecture criticism as we know it. Photo by Gene Maggio, via The New York Times
 

Author: 
Kate Lindquist


As you can see in this video by Arbuckle Industries, the third and final section of the High Line at the Rail Yards is currently overgrown with self-seeded wildflowers and grasses that grew up between the tracks when the trains stopped running on the elevated railway in the 1980s.

Our goal has always been to open this final section of the elevated railway as public open space, and last week we held a ceremonial groundbreaking to mark the beginning of construction. Before the work officially begins next month, we’re opening the gates for you to explore the rail yards section during the first two weekends in October. Presented by Uniqlo as part of the 10th Annual openhousenewyork Weekend, the self-guided walking tours during Rail Yards Weekends will be your last chance to walk along the High Line at the Rail Yards before it is transformed into an extension of the High Line park.

Registration opens tomorrow. Follow us after the jump to get registration details.

Author: 
Erika Harvey
Recently some of our staff – including Horticulture Foreman Johnny Linville and Administrative Assistant Shannon Scott, pictured above – took the new DVF High Line merchandise for a test run. Photo by Liz Ligon
 

We are thrilled to debut a new collection of limited-edition apparel and products Diane von Furstenberg, a long-time supporter of Friends of the High Line.

The exclusive collection features soft cotton T-shirts, notebooks, magnets, a printed scarf, a sunhat, and a canvas tote bag emblazoned with colorful illustrations and the phrase “Dreams Come True on the High Line.” These special products capture the creative energy and spirit behind making the once so-called “impossible dream” of the High Line come true, something that would not have been possible without the visionary support of Diane and her family.

We were so excited about the collection’s debut that we recently took some of the items for a test run on the High Line. Follow us after the jump to see more photos from the shoot.

Author: 
Kate Lindquist
The rail yards section will extend the High Line’s distinct design vocabulary established south of West 30th Street, evoking the High Line’s history as an active freight rail line, and the unique self-seeded landscape that grew between the tracks when the trains stopped running in the 1980s.
 

We have made major advances at the rail yards this summer.

Last week, Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Speaker Christine Quinn announced that the City of New York has acquired the High Line at the rail yards from CSX Transportation, Inc., bringing us one step closer toward starting construction. Our next steps are fundraising to pay for transforming the rail yards section into a public park, and collaborating on the design with our City partners and the team of James Corner Field Operations, Diller Scofidio + Renfro, and Piet Oudolf.

Last night we presented the latest design renderings at community input meeting, where more than 200 supporters joined us to share feedback and ask questions.

Follow us after the jump to view some of the new design renderings.

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