One of New York‘s most loved areas is The High Line. It is a 1-mile linear public park created in 2009 and built on a 1.45-mile section of the former elevated NY Central Railroad spur called the West Side Line. It has been redesigned and is now seen as an aerial greenway. The team of architects who made this a unique urban intervention were James Corner Field Operations, DillerScofidio + Renfro and garden designer Piet Oudolf. It has become not only a green point of the city in which people relax or interact but also a path to commute faster, since it is pedestrian only. This was a very successful intervention and evidence to this are the improvements that are being made on the surrounding neighbourhood. New galleries and buildings are currently being built enriching every street and rejuvinating an area which was previously in decline. This, among other reasons, make this area a must visit in New York.
The High Line opens Mon-Sun (7 am-11 pm) and although there are several access points I would recommend Gansevoort Street as the starting point, 14th Street for wheelchair access (elevator access).
1. Dream Downtown Hotel
Location: 355 West 16th St.
Architect: Handel Architects
Description: Built preserving the otherness of Ledner’s 1966 design for the National Maritime Annex which occupied this site. The tiles reflect the sky, sun, and moon, and when the light hits the façade perfectly the circular windows appear to float like bubbles. If you get the chance have a drink on its rooftop, spectacular views. Read more here.
2. Porter House Condominium
Location: 66 9th Ave.
Architect: SHoP Architects
Description: The project required the renovation and conversion of a six-story warehouse into a residential condominium. The result: an odd mixture of a six storey addition that refuses to integrate with the existing building. This project approach may not be very convincing, however, you can visit it at night where you would only see the addition and its amazing façade light composition made by fluorescent fixtures. Read more here.
3. The Standard Hotel
Location: 848 Washington St.
Architect: Polshek Partnership Architects
Description: This huge concrete structure which reminds of Le Corbusier works has 337 rooms, a restaurant (The Standard Grill) and a rooftop bar (The Living Room) which is a must at sunset. It stands over The High Line, integrating public and private spaces which is a very interesting urban solution. Oh and interiors were designed by NY based architects Roman and Williams. Read more here.
4. 459 West 18th Street
Location: 459 West 18th Street
Architect: Della Valle + Bernheimer
Description: Severe in mass and profile, the confident exterior of the mixed-use condominium belies its carefully muted interiors. The massive expanses of glass add a cinematic quality, framing views like art-in-progress. I find this very poetic but does this mean that us, street spectators, just get a black and white version of the movie? Read more here.
5. IAC Building
Location: 550 West 18th St.
Architect: Frank Gehry
Description: Built as the InterActiveCorp’s headquarters. Interesting façade composition that looks like a giant boat. People who work here are very nice so maybe you can ask somebody to take you to see the beautiful view from the 9th floor. Make sure you visit Mon-Fri (9-6). Read more here.
6. Metal Shutter Houses
Location: 524 West 19th Street
Architect: Shigeru Ban
Description: This duplex project gets a very dynamic feeling due to its motorized, perforated metal shutters that rise and fall to shut off the street-facing windows and terraces. This façade system serves as light-modulating privacy screen and given its orientation (west) it was a very smart approach. Read more here.
7. 100 11th Avenue Apartments
Location: 524 West 19th Street
Architect: Jean Nouvel
Description: It has over 1,650 different window panes across its curved surface that creates visual excitement, it really does. In my opinion, one of the most interesting things of this building is how scale changes our window perception based on our proximity to it. Read more here.
8. HL23 Apartments
Location: 23rd St. + High Line
Architect: Niel Denari
Description: This project’s approach was “How to stand out and fit in at the same time” and I think they succeeded. The site, quite small and directly adjacent to the High Line, was a challenge. This apartments are quite outstanding (one per floor) while being LEED Gold Certified. Read more here.
9. High Line 519
Location: 519 West 23rd St.
Architect: Lindy Roy
Description: This condominium provides a good solution to a very narrow site. Innovative spatial arrangements and fluid folding forms were necessary on its interior. However, balconies of that size could have been avoided, don’t you agree? Read more here.
10. Hôtel Americano
Location: 518 W 27th St.
Architect: Enrique Norten
Description: The façade of the hotel directly reflects its dichotomy between active gallery streets by day and vibrant club scenes by night. Famous for its rooftop pool, which you shouldn’t miss (have you seen the skyline views?). Oh and it now features a new bar in the basement by German artist Tobias Rehberger. Read more here.
Check these and other amazing buildings of NY on the map below or download my Free Architecture Guide of New York.