Bjarke Ingels continues to write his west side story with yet another icon along the Hudson River. Today, developer Tishman Speyer unveiled the architect’s design for The Spiral, a 65-story, 2.85 million-square-foot office tower.
Like our own personalities, urban identities evolve over time but risk snapping if pushed too far. The High Line—an elevated rail that snakes through Manhattan’s Meatpacking District and Chelsea, sidling up to some old buildings and slicing through others—has stamped its ever-changing character on its environs for 75 years. Opened in 1934 as a freight line bringing sides of beef and cases of milk to warehouses on the city’s west side, it morphed from a symbol of progress to a white elephant to a noirish backdrop for late-night assignations with hookers and drug dealers. Over the years, the hulking metal viaduct had attracted people who loved it—such as Robert Hammond and Joshua David, who founded Friends of the High Line to spearhead efforts to save it—and others who hated it as an eyesore, a magnet for illicit activities, and an impediment to new development.
The High Line, the Manhattan elevated railway that’s undergoing conversion from industrial artifact to public green space, is the work of a trifecta of design-world giants, including architect Diller Scofidio + Renfro, landscape studio Field Operations, and the lighting design firm L’Observatoire.