Monday, June 22, 2009

The High Line in the rain

I visited the High Line on Saturday. It was raining but still pretty enjoyable. Here are some first impressions:

+ No doubt the reuse of the abandoned elevated rail tracks is very successful.
+ Subtle and thoughtful design.
+ Choice of materials works well together (concrete, corten, glass, wood...).
+ The meandering path breaks away from the rigid structured formalism and provides changing experience through the walk.
+ There is a rich variety of colorful wild-looking plants.
+ Ways of integrating the preserved tracks are very interesting, especially the movable chairs on the sundeck.
+ The amphitheater with giant glass windows is spectacular.
+ Good construction quality.
+ Provides an fresh and fantastic perspective on the city (and the river).

- It still lacks some energy. I guess it was partly because of the rain, there is not much activity going on. But there are areas that are just left empty and unprogrammed. I wish the city could introduce more vendors, performers, and alike to the park and create a more vibrant urban scene.
- The repetition of some design elements (such as the wavy concrete planks) makes it a little boring at the end. I hope the new "features" in Section 2 will make the whole thing even more interesting.

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