It's been three years since New York has fallen for the High Line. Envisioned as a mile-and-a-half long elevated park, the project has been built in 3 installments, like the Lord of the Rings trilogy--a singular work, broken up into pieces for planning, budgeting, and marketing reasons. Designed by Diller Scofidio + Renfro and James Corner Field Operations, the first two sections opened in 2009 and 2011, respectively, to great acclaim (excluding the debate about the park's negative gentrifying role), and the third is expected to draw a similarly enthusiastic response.
The first images of "High Line 3" were released in March, following the first official presentation of the project. Now, Friends of the High Line have published several more renderings and updated designs for the celebrated park's final segment, which loops over and around the West Side rail yards (to be transformed by the Hudson Yards mixed-use development). Last week the city acquired the railroad property and pinned down a tentative construction start to the end of the year, with the new and last stretch of the park to open in 2014. When that happens, the High Line will extend from the Meatpacking District to the western lip of Hell's Kitchen and, of course, Hudson Yards.
"11th Avenue Bridge"
Among the design updates are the "Rail Track Walk", a small pathway "embedded" in the original rail tracks and framed by landscape designer Piet Oudolf’s artistic shrubbery, and the "11th Avenue Bridge", a ramp sloping 2 feet above the primary path that will allow visitors to "take in panoramic views of the cityscape and Hudson River". The "Beam Exploration Area" will be "dedicated to families and kids" where the concrete deck will be removed and a rubber playscape inserted amid the bridge's original beams and girders. Conversely, the "Interim Walkway" will preserve a stretch of the "self-seeded landscape" that has overtaken the rusting steel structure to present visitors with a vision of what the site appeared like earlier in the decade, before it would witness its metamorphic transformation.
The designers have also fleshed out the "peel-up typology" they introduced in March, which runs wild with the park's shamelessly copied "peel-up" benches, creating all sorts of configurations and scenarios including the "long peel-up bench" and, most exciting, the "peel-up rocker" (a seesaw!). Head over to the Friends of the High Line for more!
"Beam Exploration Area"
The "Rail Track Walk"
Image: Friends of the High Line
All renderings: James Corner Field Operations and Diller Scofidio + Renfro. Courtesy of the City of New York and Friends of the High Line.