Throughout history, many structures are built. Many prevail, while others deteriorate or are torn down. In today’s world we live a life threatened by climate change and concern for sustainable life practices. As architects, we design more than just buildings, we design experiences, we design lifestyles, we design interactions and activities, and it is also our responsibility to design in ways that embrace the built environment for what it is, and not constantly clear away land or destroy structures to put up new ones.
Landscape Architects do this often, and New York’s High Line park is no exception. James Corner Field Operations with Diller Scofidio + Renfro inherited an old abandoned railroad track on Manhattan’s lower west side. In this case, the architects used an abandoned structure to create a gorgeous park, that has become one of NYC’s biggest tourist attractions, and a place for New Yorkers to escape the hustle and bustle of the streets below and quite literally “rise above” their stresses.
The project itself embraces the preceding history of the site, using the tracks to establish the repetitive theme and geometry of the project. All the moves in the project feature linear design elements to mimic the tracks.
Projects like this are not only great examples of restoration architecture, but show the power of landscape architecture in creating public spaces that change the dynamic of cities and neighborhoods. The project also allows for stunning views of New York City from a new perspective. Through streets the cut behind buildings, exposing a fabric of the city that is otherwise unknown to the average passer by.
Photography by : Iwan Baan