New York AIA Awards 2010
Thirty feet above street level, a narrow new park winds through a former industrial area on the West Side of Manhattan, near the Hudson River. This unexpected urban oasis is the High Line, a series of grasses and shrubs, walkways and benches, created atop a defunct elevated freight railway.
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The High Line is honored by the New York chapter of the American Institution of Architects in its 2010 design awards. Other projects recognized by AIA New York include an urban academic building by Thom Mayne, projects in Norway and China by Steven Holl, and a visitor center designed by Toshiko Mori for a Frank Lloyd Wright landmark.
Park in the Sky
Built in 1934, the High Line moved freight train traffic through Chelsea and the Meatpacking District until 1980, allowing trains to deliver food and agricultural goods to factories and warehouses without risk of street-level accidents. Parts of the structure have been demolished, but a one-mile- (1.6-kilometer-) long stretch is now a New York City park, operated and largely funded by the nonprofit organization Friends of the High Line.
To create the park, landscape architecture and urban design firm James Corner Field Operations lead a design team that included architect Diller Scofidio + Renfro, Dutch planting designer Piet Oudolf, and a variety of other specialists.
Combining a variety of built forms and plant communities, the finished product evokes the accidental beauty of the weeds and wildflowers that colonized the elevated platforms during their decades of obsolescence.
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