Studio MDA

Highline

Highline

Master Plan, New York, 2007

New York | 2007

This disused rail line will become an ideal platform for commercial opportunities of all sizes. The challenge for the High Line will be the achievement of balance—securing the space for manifold uses and new stakeholders, while also protecting quieter zones of calm detachment, observation, and contemplation. This proposal, completed in conjunction with Zaha Hadid Architects, suggests an open and interactive approach to the design of infrastructure and public space is reminiscent of the way that new uses are naturally found for old structures, and so will be especially suited to the redevelopment of the High Line. This scheme like the best examples of imaginative and successful reuse of abandoned structures begins precisely by suspending both the normal patterns of use and the corresponding reading of its architectural elements. Adaptation begins with an open vision toward the possibilities presented by the space, and then engages a process of excavation, cutting, extending, and shaping until new patterns of activity come precisely to fill and enliven it.