By STEVEN KURUTZ
Robert Wright for The New York Times
In a section of the High Line near 23rd Street, five apartment buildings, three of them newly
built steel-and-glass towers, overlook the park and create a sleek update on "Rear Window."
"People see in and wave. We'll wave to people," said Benjamin Yogel of 245 Tenth.
Where the park widens to form a seating area with bleachers and a lush lawn, several apartment buildings rise up and enclose the space on either side. Three are newly constructed glass and steel towers that just began filling with residents, and the most prominent of them, the architect Neil M. Denari’s sleek HL23, is so close it’s as if parkgoers could walk right into one of the multimillion-dollar apartments.
Pierre Salamon, who lives in the Marais, another building rising above this section of the park, called it “a secret new city waiting to be discovered.” It makes him feel, he said, “like I’ve arrived in another dimension of Chelsea ... I slow down on purpose to retain that feeling.”
Annik La Farge, who wrote a book about the park called “On the High Line,” looks onto this section from her office and living room windows in the Spears Building. The space is made more striking, she said, by the narrow, forested path that precedes it, known as the Chelsea Thicket. “Horticulturally, the area goes from dense, shady thicket to open, sunny lawn,” Ms. La Farge said. “And in more human terms, it goes from a very private space to a very, very public one.”
Walking this neighborhood in the sky is like finding yourself in a mash-up of “Blade Runner” and “Rear Window.” The thrill isn’t the wide angle, but the close-up, being at eye level with high-rise apartments and the people inside them. Like the hulking, metal-sheathed 245 Tenth, an 11-story co-op designed by the Brooklyn-based architects Jared Della Valle and Andrew Bernheimer: on a recent evening, a couple rested among moving boxes inside their new third-floor apartment there, obviously exhausted, in full view of passers-by.
Just a few steps down the High Line is Ten23, another glass building, which opened along this section of the park in January. In one west-facing corner unit, a mod-looking candy-red chair was displayed prominently in the window, as if this weren’t an apartment, but a store or a design studio.
While casual voyeurism along the High Line (the “ ‘Pry’ Line,” as The New York Post dubbed it) has been going on since the park opened three years ago, the residents of new buildings like HL23, Ten23 and 245 Tenth are different from earlier High Line dwellers in at least one respect: they moved here knowing their homes would be among the most exposed in the city.
Moreover, the cutting-edge architecture, the bleachers and lawn, and colorful metal “Urban Rattle” sculpture by the artist Charlie Hewitt, installed in May in the courtyard of Ten23, have all made this section of the High Line a popular gathering spot.
Thousands of people go by these apartments every day, and no doubt wonder who lives in them. But what do the residents see? What is life like on the other side of the glass?
We talked to people who live in HL23, Ten23 and 245 Tenth, and two other buildings, the Spears Building and the Marais, which predate the High Line but are integral to the skyline of this section of the park.
HL23: LIVING A PRIVATE-PUBLIC LIFE
When Mr. Denari began designing this 14-story apartment building, he decided early on to integrate the park instead of turning away from it. “There’s a public aspect to HL23,” the architect said. “I’ve never tried to be recalcitrant or not address the opportunity.” Indeed, the south-facing facade resembles the windshield of an enormous sports car.
As for the apartments on the lower floors, which are the most exposed to parkgoers, Mr. Denari said he imagined they would attract New Yorkers who welcomed what he called “a private-public discourse.” As he put it, “People who live on the lower floors are probably not eccentric recluses looking for a haven.”
That describes Kerry Propper and Katya Valevich, who moved into an apartment on one of the midlevel floors in January.
Mr. Propper, 37, a chief executive of a small investment bank and a human-rights activist, said he bought the 2,500-square-foot unit after a long hunt, because it felt as if it was not so much above the High Line as on it.
“You know the grass right outside?” he said. “You feel like you’re on that lawn.”
Ms. Valevich, 25, who works for Artinfo.com, said she is accordingly taking a performance-art-like approach to decorating. In the living room, for instance, she hung an elegant white and gold chandelier above the elm-wood dining table, she said, knowing it would be visible to anyone on the High Line.
“They can definitely see us if they look,” she said. “Why not try to give our apartment character?”
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Doesn't look like they're taking very tender care of all those landmarked bricks.
What kind of standard is that?
WEE SEE YA! Swank High Line hotel exposes people using restroom to onlookers on street below
The Standard Hotel gives a whole new meaning to the term “poop deck.”
Read more: http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york#ixzz26G8ZinZI
Last edited by RoldanTTLB; October 22nd, 2012 at 02:17 PM.
Good news thank. Funny coincidence that "you forgot" and it is called the RAMS building: RAM stands for. Random Acess Memory. Pardon the geek humor. LOL
Aqua Tower architect to make New York debut in booming meatpacking district.
by Alan G. Brake
Rendering of Jeanne Gang's proposed tower along New York's High Line. Courtesy Studio Gang
Jeanne Gang will soon join the likes of Neil Denari, Frank Gehry, Jean Nouvel, and Shigeru Ban with a new project near the High Line in New York City. The roughly 180,000-square-foot office tower will rise along 10th Avenue between 13th and 14th streets, pending city approval.
The project will be Chicago-based Studio Gang’s New York debut, and its atypical form is a novel take on New York’s zoning. “We looked at what we could build as of right and realized that it would block out light, air, and views from the High Line,” principal Jeanne Gang told AN. Gang pointed out that the High Line creates the unusual urban condition of having a much-loved public space mid-block. “So we rearranged the building’s mass so that the tallest part to face 10th Avenue,” she said.
In addition to pulling the building to the lot-line along 10th Avenue, Studio Gang’s design calls for angled notches, slicing off wedge-shaped portions of the tower, allowing river views and minimizing shadows on the elevated park. The design for the building has a glass skin, which will be smooth on the vertical portions and faceted in the cutaways. “The faceted edge emphasizes what I call the ‘solar carving,”’ she said. “The serrated-edge demarcates the special character of these spaces.”
For Gang the project is an opportunity to respond to and critique New York’s building and planning standards. “We’re using the principal of the zoning envelope, but we’re recognizing the exceptional condition that the High Line creates,” she said. “It’s an interior block public space. How do you respond to that?” The project draws on research her firm conducted for the un-built Solstice Tower in Hyde Park, which employed an top-heavy, angled facade to mitigate heat gain on the southern exposure in the summer while increasing it in the winter.
Study models show variations in the facade.
William Gottlieb Real Estate is developing the project. It will replace an empty meatpacking plant on the site, and will include ground level retail. “They really want to defer to the fundamental asset of the High Line,” she said, noting that other developers and architects have built over the park. “This is the opposite approach.” The project is located outside the Gansevoort Market Historic District, so it is not dependent on approval from the Landmarks Preservation Commission. Gang’s unconventional take on city zoning is currently being filed with New York’s Board of Standards and Appeals. The building is targeted for completion in 2015.
An old meatpacking building is on part of the site, butting up against the HL just north of 13th Street, which contains the only existing stretch of actual meat hook apparatus above a loading platform in the park. The part of the site at Tenth + 14th is a recently cleared lot.
Thanks, Lofter. This will be a nice addition.
The Whitney, like Gang's new structure and the new torqued building on Washington, will be superb additions to this magnificent area. However, this horrific crap just north of the Whitney, occupied by Interstate Foods, must go. It detracts from this awesome area.
It's only a matter of time. Just like the scrap yard that is still on the highline a few blocks north of here. Just give it time. Incidentally. We haven't discussed it here, but foundations are being built for another building next to the ohm not half a block from the RAMS building going up over there.