Sumit Singhal loves modern architecture. He comes from a family of builders who have built more than 20 projects in the last ten years near Delhi in India. He has recently started writing about the architectural projects that catch his imagination.
HL23 in West Chelsea Arts district, New York by NEIL M. DENARI ARCHITECTS designed with AutoCAD and Rhino
March 26th, 2011 by Sumit Singhal
Developed by Alf Naman and currently in construction, HL23 is a 14 floor condominium tower that responds to a unique and challenging site directly adjacent to the High Line at 23rd street in New York’s West Chelsea Arts district. With the first phase opened from July 2009 (12th-20th street), the High Line will extend north until its terminus at 34th Street in its second phase to open in 2010. This new linear park, elevated above the street 25ft on existing rail infrastructure, offers people new chances to interact with the city’s rich architectural heritage and its vibrant future. Designed by Field Operations and Diller Scofidio + Renfro, the High Line Park advances a merger between various urban ecologies both found and implanted. HL23 is a structure precisely shaped by a confluence of these forces.
Partially impacted by a spur from the elevated tracks that make up the High Line superstructure, the site is 40′ x 99′ at the ground floor. The site and the developer demanded a specific response, yielding a project that is a natural merger between found and given parameters and architectural ambition. For the client, the question was how to expand the possible built floor area of a restricted zoning envelope. For the site, a supple geometry must be found to allow a larger building to stand in very close proximity to the elevated park of the High Line.
Together, the demands produced a building with one unit per floor and three distinct yet coherent facades, a rarity in Manhattan’s block structure. Consisting of one condominium per floor, the main living areas and views are oriented toward the south, while the east façade facing the high line is formed as a sculptural surface with smaller windows allowing privacy and framed views across Manhattan. A custom, spandrel-free curtainwall of glass and stainless steel megapanels hangs on a complex, cantilevered steel frame, generating expression within systematic economy. Since the building sits in the middle of the Arts District, it attempts to deliver a commercially viable, highly crafted object that can take its place among the art shown in the nearby galleries.
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