In our second movie from New York, designer Stephen Burks takes us to the High Line and explains how the elevated park is helping to transform the surrounding areas of the city.
Designed by landscape architects James Corner Field Operations along with architects Diller Scofidio + Renfro and garden designer Piet Oudolf, the High Line park runs through New York's Chelsea neighbourhood along the lower west side of Manhattan on 1.5 miles of repurposed elevated railway.
"For decades [the High Line] was an overgrown railroad track, left over from an era when elevated trains roared through Manhattan," says Burks. "Today it's a multi-million dollar park that's welcoming hundreds of thousands of visitors a day."
The park was completed in 2009 and Burks believes the project has been the catalyst for the regeneration of the Chelsea area and the Meatpacking District next to it.
"The High Line is really connecting the dots of the city's best upcoming architecture," he says, pointing out Jean Nouvel's 2010 apartment block 100 11th Avenue and Shigeru Ban's Metal Shutter House, completed in 2011, both of which cluster around an earlier Frank Gehry office building.
A little further along the park is HL23, a new apartment building by Niel Denari, which Burks explains is the American architect's "first multi-story building in America".
Further north again is Hôtel Americano, designed by Mexican architect Enrique Norten of TEN Arquitectos, which features a new bar in the basement by German artist Tobias Rehberger.
At the southern end of the park, construction is underway on Renzo Piano's new building for The Whitney Museum of American Art, which is moving across town to the Meatpacking District from it's current location on Madison Avenue on the upper east side of Manhattan.
"All of these new contemporary projects probably wouldn't have been placed here had it not been for the High Line," says Burks.
Burks is also a big fan of the High Line itself. "Some of the things that I love about the High Line in terms of design is the way that they've seamlessly integrated the design elements with nature and with elements that look like it just kind of happened," he goes on to say. "[It's] almost as if this very beautiful paved surface with finger-like projections into the lawns just landed here amongst the wild grasses, amongst the trees.
We drove to the High Line in our MINI Cooper S Paceman.