The north end of the highline clearly lacks the cache of the south end, which is star-studded. There's a few buildings up here I've liked, though. I can't recall their names, but I have photos around here of them somewhere. Let's see...
Sorry, they're from last October, I don't take as many pics of finished buildings.
Related and Leyva Team Up for More Residential Near High Line
by Pete Davies
The Related Companies has yet another residential plan in the works along the northern stretch of the High Line, their latest at 539 West 29th Street. It's just down the block from the 33-story tower of Related residentials getting ready to rise at 500 West 30th Street, said to designed by Robert A.M. Stern. The new plan at 539 is for 15 floors with 126 units and, once again, Related's architect of record is Ismael Leyva. The new building application hasn't been approved yet; at the end of April the plan exam by the Department of Buildings resulted in a thumbs down.
And some zoning issues are still pending. But given the numbers found on the Schedule A, this one could be boxy, in the mode of +Art a block to the south at 540 West 28th Street.
This new plan is part of the development land rush in the vicinity of NYC's newest neighborhood at Hudson Yards, Related's mega-project covering 26 acres where 5.5 million square feet of commercial and residential buildings will go in, all encircled by the last stretch of the High Line. Rising across the street from 539 West 29th will be the block-busting Avalon West Chelsea, where the big dig out for 700+ new residential units is on-going. Towering above Related's newest project, where an old garage stood until it was demo'ed last summer, is the big white slab of nightlife fun, better known as Ohm. Proximity to the High Line is proving to be the economic boon foreseen by the Bloomberg administration when this area was re-zoned back in 2005, a plan that just might be the only NYC re-zoning scheme that can be called "award winning."
I bet reactions to this would be a bit more lukewarm if the developers proposed something less ugly and overbearing. They could have had an archi-nerd fan-base if they proposed something striking that was more slender and perhaps even taller. But the current proposal just looks like greed in an ugly nutshell.
I would love a tall narrow icon here. Someone get Nouvel.
Last edited by Derek2k3; May 4th, 2012 at 10:38 AM.
If they would just use bricks and try to match the new section to look like the old- making it a part of the building...
Instead they give us something that looks like it landed on it from outer space (or fell on it from the garbage)?
I don't think the complaints with substance (forever casting the highline in shadow) can be addressed by either a taller, slimmer tower, or by a facade treatment. I remain confused about the claims of this being on the west side of the highline, though.
Did you see the Google view I provided you? It explains it very well.
Does the addition rise on the WEST side of the path (N -S line)? Will it block afternoon sun?
That photo of the north side of the Chelsea Market was taken very early in the day, when the sun was far to the east. All through the morning, as the sun passes to the other side of the Chelsea Market, the proposed addition up top would cast shadows along the High Line to the north, across the entirety of the wooden amphitheater, and all the way up to 18th Street, across the park and including the open space on the east side of the HL. That's now a parking lot but, per zoning documents, it's slated to become a street level plaza and grand entry to the park at some point in the future. In the colder months those shadows would be particularly problematic.
It's also specious of the Jamestown group to claim that the CM building isn't worthy of Landmarking. It was a huge mistake not to include it within the original boundaries of the Gansevoort Market Historic District. It's one of the main market buildings in that area -- and, as the National Biscuit Company, it was a key player in the food production heritage that was the basis of the designation of the blocks to the south. In fact the various stages of this building, visible along 15th & 16th Streets and Ninth & Tenth Avenues (and the Nabisco annex across Tenth Avenue to the west, connected by rail & pedestrian bridges over Tenth Avenue) chronicle the entire history of the market district from the mid-1800s up through the construction of the High Line in the 1930s.
Shadows should play no role whatsoever in land use planning decisions. It's absurd that they're even a topic of discussion. City Planning better not waste one second on this nonsense.
In an urban context, shadows aren't inherently "bad" and sunlight isn't inherently "good". They're totally neutral characteristics unrelated to good public policy.
Is Central Park "bad" because of all those shadow-causing trees? Is some Phoenix suburb "good" because the buildings are low and widely spaced?
Hear! Hear! Zippy.
And what's Central Park got to do with development around the High Line? It's a park. Of course it has trees. It also has vast areas of open space for people to enjoy the sunshine.
The High Line is also a park, but in a completely different context. Instead of being surrounded by buildings, it goes between them, very closely. Defeats the purpose of it being a park if there's no sunshine for the people using the park to enjoy, but especially for the wonderful flora to thrive.
If anyone has issues with shadows being considered in regard to this and other developments then take it up with ULURP crew. Shadow studies and considerations are elements of the required Environmental Review process, and the effect of new structures on surrounding areas are valid considerations when a property owner is seeking a variance to existing zoning regulations, as is the case here.