At the High Line, It’s All About Blending In

Views of the High Line and the Chelsea neighborhood from 505 West 19th Street condos

For new developments, location is key, and no location is more coveted than by a park or greenspace. However, it’s not often that buildings resemble and embrace such surroundings.

Isay Weinfeld’s Jardim, a building tailored for its High Line location due to the comparable greenery in its latest renderings, is poised to bring some added flair to the greenspace.

Located on 527 West 27th Street, adjacent to the High Line, and set to be completed by the end of 2016, Jardim will consist of 36 1- to 4-bedroom condos, accounted for in two 11-story buildings separated by a private garden.

Created from the old West Side Line that became defunct in the early 1980s, the first section of the High Line, extending from Gansevoort Street to West 20th Street, opened in 2009. The linear park was completed to include two more sections in 2014. 

An eyesore prior to its conversion, one of the underlying goals for the High Line was to boost the local economy. And the stimulus that it became for the area, as mentioned by Robert Hammond, co-founder of Friends of the High Line, happened to be much more rapid than anticipated. Much of this could be owed to the 2005 proposal to rezone West Chelsea, which had a prime goal to facilitate development of new residential and commercial space.

The streets lining the elevated park have very much become the “Architects Row” as mentioned by former city planning director, Amanda Burden. Jardim is just one of the new developments sparked by the completion of the High Line with Weinfeld being just one of a number of architects inspired by the park.

Soori High Line

Towering over the High Line and clocking in at 11 stories, this new development at 522 West 29th Street has a total of 27 units. (16 of those apartments have pools located within their living spaces.) Soori holds a slight resemblance to the architectural style of Lincoln Center, an unintentional sign of its prominence, with a sophistication complementary to the park. The architect, Soo Chan, stated that he always builds on the idea of transition, a theme that’s exemplary of West Chelsea’s makeover.

The price range of the units extend from $3.6M to $22M.

520 West 28th Street

It’s exterior is futuristic, as avant-garde as some of the galleries on street level. This development but Iraqi-British architect, Zaha Hadid, will be the first from her in New York City. Like Jardim and Soori High Line, Hadid’s creation will also be 11-stories, but it surpasses its neighbors in units (39 condos) and price ($4.595M for 2-bedroom, 2.5-bathroom space to $35M for a penthouse). With a similar aesthetic to the building anticipated to be completed by 2016, Hadid created a protective art piece at the High Line called Allongé.

505 West 19th Street

“On the High Line, it’s about nurturing — almost wanting to hug the High Line with the building,” said architect Thomas Juul-Hansen in an interview with the Observer.

Juul-Hansen’s High Line oasis almost has a year to its name — having been built in 2014, but it’s worthy of the honorable mention. Comprising of two, 10-story towers (linked by a shared lobby) featuring 35 residences, this building does exactly what Juul-Hansen expects of a development along the park. (Five availabilities currently listed, ranging from a 2-bedroom, 2.5-bathroom at $4.140M to a 4-bedroom, 4.5-bathroom $22M penthouse.) Its design is simple yet attractive, much like the park just steps away. It possesses the appearance of a greenhouse, a symbolic structure to West Chelsea’s growth and the High Line’s botanic beauty.

The buildings that surround the High Line aren’t like those in some of Manhattan’s more prominent neighborhoods. Weinfeld, Chan, Hadid, and Juul-Hansen designed their respective developments to appear as much like a playground as the park itself. There is an internal sense of detail, a property of designing any building, but these High Line architects also had an eye for external detail, establishing a relation between park and residence.