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Neil M. Denari Architects, Inc, New York, United States

Tuesday 28 Feb 2012

Rising up

Neil M. Denari 
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Award Entry

HL23 overlooks the Arts District of New York 

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. 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, with the aid of seven zoning waivers, the demands produced a building with nine single floor units, two duplex units, and three distinct yet coherent facades, a rarity in Manhattan's block structure. 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 mega-panels 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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Neil M. Denari Architects, Inc.

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