Guest Blog: Lisa Switkin, Landscape Architect

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lisa switkinThe Sundeck's lounge chairs are a popular spot for resting and people-watching.
 

Lisa Switkin is Associate Principal and Lead Designer of the High Line at James Corner Field Operations. She writes today about her initial responses to seeing the High Line's design turned into reality:

"After spending the past five years on the High Line in mostly solitary situations walking the line to familiarize myself with every curve, view and condition or in small groups working through essential design concepts and design and construction details' it is extraordinarily rewarding to finally see it activated and being used and loved by people. Although progress was evident every day as the integrated components of the park came together, I don't think it truly became a reality for me until I was able to stroll up there last Saturday morning as a park user and observer.

"Someone said to me – have you noticed that people have a different pace when they are on the High Line?' This made me smile, as I remember the supportive but skeptical reaction when we first stated our basic mantra of 'Keep it Simple, Keep it Wild, Keep it Slow, and Keep it Quiet' that inspired the design. 'Can you even do that in New York?' was a common response. And yet, it's true; people do have a slower pace and sense of delay when they are on the line. They are suspended in a unique urban condition - both a part of the City and removed from the City at the same time. I hope the magical sense of surprise and bewilderment that the site produces itself, along with the legible and deliberate elongated transitions embedded into the design - from streetside to topside, hard to soft, woodland to grassland, river to city - give people the opportunity to see the City in new and unexpected ways; the familiar and iconic side as well as the up close, textural, and backside of New York City."

More of Lisa's photos after the jump.

lisa switkinPeel-up benches and alcove seating near 17th Street.
 

lisa switkinWooden peel-up benches in the trees at the Tenth Avenue Square.
   

lisa switkinThe Sunken Overlook at the Tenth Avenue Square is an informal gathering place.