AA _Alien Automaton


AA _alien automaton
Manhattan, New York


Project History
High Line is an abandoned 1.5-mile stretch of overgrown railroad viaduct that runs from the Meatpacking district to Hell’s Kitchen in Manhattan’s Westside.

An elevated rail line 30 to 60 feet wide and two stories above street level, it was built in the 1930’s to connect the Pennsylvania Railroad Yards and the warehouses of Greenwich Village. By 1980, most of the industries it had served were defunct, the trains were derailed and the tracks went to seed.

Architecture is an alien automaton – Fremdkoerper – its Utopia demands the setting of new bodies and a foreign ‘Gestalt’, which beats into a familiarity like meteorites from an unknown star, – and paves the way for the new and unknown. Architecture has to be remarkable – it is a form of action, – of something to someone, – and ‘Gestalt’ is not a form, but the expression of an idea in materiality.

A straight leg from West 19th Street to West 29th Street.
The Highline – already alien itself, – not just in terms of its formal presents, but more in terms of its not defined, open programs. 32 000m2 as potential area.
The program and its volumetric manifestation merges itself from the existing grid by pulling and pushing boundaries. Lines become volumes, volumes hybrids.
Striping as a Strategy, – not just linear but also vertical – cluster-fication.
Working against the monumental sterility, through developing an open architectural system, – visible in hard and soft spaces; with sometimes very rigid boundaries, sometimes open, – never entirely clear.
Spaces under knees as result of the zoning strategies; compressed program and spaces in the bottom part, – public sky waves on the top.