THE FALCONE FLYOVER
The ramping lawn serves as a preview of what comes next, as the design team literally raised the bar for the High Line experience. Buro Happold provided the structural engineering for Section 2, which made the flyover possible. The firm used a sophisticated structure of thin columns to support the delicate “bridge on a bridge.” Buro Happold wanted the structure to counterbalance the robust industrial steel structure of the High Line itself.
Within the Falcone Flyover, perhaps the most interesting and provocative part of the entire path, visitors are propelled eight feet above the park’s ground level via a steel catwalk set amidst a canopy of trees. The ascent, while not drastic in height, represents a complete shift in the architectural and spatial language of the rest of the project. Immersed in weird, huge-leafed magnolia trees, visitors finally feel at one with the vegetation — a feeling that is hinted at earlier in the Chelsea Thicket.
THE VIEWING SPUR
Along the course of the elevated “Falcone Flyover” multiple metal platform “spurs” branch off in various directions to create intimate areas away from general foot traffic. One of these spurs, the “Viewing Spur” at 26th Street, abruptly drops off over the middle of the street, providing a lounging area, and viewing platform to the streets below. In addition to providing a view for visitors on top of the High Line, it also showcases High Line visitors for people on the street to see, framing them within the vestiges of a defunct billboard as a living advertisement for the park. From the rows of seats, this particular moment only stands out because it allows for unobstructed views of the city from within the Flyover, but from the street, the living advertisement and park goer exposure is clear. A pair of solid wooden bench serves as a background and balancing element for the public billboard. While exposed to the public below, those who choose to sit in front of this exhibitionist real-time billboard are comforted by the tall, warm embrace of these benches.
All photos © Inhabitat