Neil M. Denari
New York, NY, USA
Neil M. Denari Architects
Marc I. Rosenbaum / Marc I Rosenbaum architects (collaborating architect) Stephen Desimone / Desimone Consulting Engineers (structural engineer) Bruce Nichol / Front (facade consultant) Michael Ra / Front / Via Glass (facade consultant - glass) Thomas Juul-Hansen / Thomas Juul-Hansen LLC (interior architect)
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 as well as architectural ambition. For the client, the question was how to increase the possible built floor area beyond the restrictions dictated by the zoning envelope. This demand required a building that was volumetrically larger than what zoning would allow, ultimately resulting in a project that was granted 7 zoning waivers from City Planning. For the site, the challenge was to find a supple geometry that would allow a larger building to stand in very close proximity to the heavily populated High Line park in a manner that was both sensitive and engaging. Precisely shaped by a confluence of forces, HL23 achieves a vertical urbanism that aims to stand out and fit in at the same time.
HL23 is located at the High Line and 23rd street, the most important new urban cruciform in the city of New York. The continuous elevated bridge structure of the High Line will become, over the next ten years, a unique linear urban park. Designed by Field Operations and Diller Scofidio + Renfro, the High Line park will offer people new chances to interact with the city's rich architectural heritage as well as its vibrant future, advancing a merger between various urban ecologies both existing and implanted. By definition, the High Line has created new relationships between building mass and, in certain locations, has engendered new forms of urban infill, far different than simple mid-block party wall scenarios. Where the High Line passes through the Chelsea Arts District at 23rd Street, one of these unique site conditions exists. It is here that NMDA has been commissioned by developer Garrett Heher to produce a slim-fit, 14 story building for ground floor galleries and 12 condo-lofts that rises next to and engages with the High Line.
HL23 is realized as a one unit per floor building with 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 geometrically articulated south facade, while the bathrooms and bedrooms are located at the flat and highly graphic north facade. The east facade facing the High Line is formed as a sculptural surface with smaller windows, allowing for privacy and framed views across Manhattan. The project is a product of global coordination, with steel fabrication in Montreal, curtain wall glazing from China, metal panels from Buenos Aires and prefabricated wall assemblies from Eastern Long Island, New York. A custom, spandrel-free curtain wall system comprised 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 Chelsea 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. Because of its adjacency to Manhattan's latest urban spectacle that is the High Line, and in particular because a major point of access to the High Line is located at 23rd street, HL23 was designed around an intimate and connected dialogue with its context. For a passerby on the High Line, HL23 is a building whose architecture generates a programmatic extension of the park, effectively becoming a unique and engaging event.