NEW YORK—Landscape architects James Corner and Ric Scofidio unveiled the new High Line design plan on Monday evening in front of hundreds of people in South Chelsea.
The project can begin this year and will open in 2014 if funds are raised, and rezoning goes through that will allow Related Companies, who is developing real estate in the adjacent Hudson Yards, to foot $30 million of the estimated $90 million to $100 million needed to renovate the derelict elevated railway.
The incomplete section three runs west from 10th Avenue and West 30th Street toward the Hudson River, beginning to turn east close to 12th Avenue, and runs parallel to the river. It curls back east after hitting 33rd Street, ending on West 34th Street between 11th and 12th avenues.
Like sections one and two, a renovated section three would feature different areas.
Section two would meet a renovated section three on West 30th Street just west of 10th Avenue. Architects Corner and Scofidio refer to this meeting place as “the crossroads.”
“We want to make a place where people can meet and sit and relax, and decide which direction to go in, and become a place where somebody will say, ‘I will meet you at the crossroads,’” explained Scofidio.
10th Avenue Spur
Turning east toward the city from the crossroads, there is an area at the intersection of 10th Avenue and West 30th Street that formerly connected the railroad with the Morgan Processing and Distribution Center.
This unusually large area evoked more than a dozen ideas from architecture firms.
Three ideas have emerged: an amphitheater, a flex pavilion, or a floating plane.
The amphitheater would surround a central open space— perfect for performance—with three seating areas. Each area would be in the shape of a triangle and slope up with each successive level of seating. Space underneath the seats could be used for storage and bathrooms.
The flex pavilion would offer a space that could be used in cold or inclement weather.
The last idea is a floating plane. “The floating plane is really the simplest [idea],” said Corner. “Float a deck four feet above the High Line … so that you are getting raised views of the west to the river, east into the city, and north and south along 10th Avenue.”
The grassland is the area west of the crossroads, toward the Hudson River, where the designers plan to keep the rail tracks exposed, allowing people to walk on them.
Building on the bench design, known as “peel-up,” that is used on the current High Line, the designers came up with new ideas, including a picnic table between two benches and raised planters. An idea that drew sounds of delight from the crowd was the seesaw— two benches connected that are flexible enough to rock.
11th Avenue Bridge
The High Line inclines to the 11th Avenue Bridge, where it begins to slope down. Ideas for this area include a playground area where the concrete between the steel beams is removed. The beams would be rubberized. Kids could use it to play hide and seek and as a play area.
Just west of 11th Avenue, the design elements would essentially stop and an interim walkway would lead through natural growth (pictured at the top of the article).“We see it as being quite modest, but perhaps in its modesty would be its real power— where you really are just walking on the tracks on the authentic real High Line,” said Corner. “The design here isn’t about designing something cool—it’s really just about designing the opportunity for you to enjoy what is really cool, which is the context and the views.”