A Habitable Sculpture in Lower Manhattan | The Plan
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A Habitable Sculpture in Lower Manhattan

Neil Denari

America settentrionale | New York

The High Line-an elevated freight track in Lower Manhattan transformed into a linear park-offers rustic illusions and thrilling views of the city. Eventually, it may be walled in by generic blocks, but for now the panorama - from the Empire State Building across the low-rise blocks of Chelsea and the West Village and down to the harbor - has few interruptions. Jean Nouvel and Frank Gehry make fleeting appearances on the Westside Highway. The one significant neighbor is HL 23, a 14-story condo block sheathed in glass and steel, swelling out over the park. It’s the first ground-up building by NMDA, Neil M. Denari’s Los Angeles-based office, and it demonstrates how New York’s tough zoning code can be waived to advantage. “It’s easier to break out of the box in the Wild West of Manhattan”, says Denari. “This is still unsettled territory, with large warehouses and few residents to raise...

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