The long awaited, much anticipated second section of the Chelsea High Line finally opened last week. Architects Diller Scofidio + Renfro enlisted landscape architects James Corner Field Operations and planting designer Piet Oudulf to complete the half mile-long stretch of elevated walkway. When the entire project is completed it will run 22 blocks through Manhattan’s West side, a total of 1.5 miles, divided into three half mile stages of construction. The first section, completed in 2009, drew crowds with its streamlined simplicity and elegance both in the landscaping and quality of building materials (benches, flooring, lighting design, etc.), but at only a half mile-long the original High Line walk was so short lived it was almost disappointing, especially given all the hype and anticipation leading up to its debut.
Diller Scofidio +Renfro
Elizabeth Diller and Ricardo Scofidio (above) and the new Lincoln Center (below).
Right after the successful completion of the High Line and the redesign of Lincoln Center in NY, the architecture firm Diller Scofidio + Renfro is back on the horse with two new and equally ambitious projects on the other side of the country, the Berkley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive and Eli Broad’s new contemporary art museum in downtown LA. The Architect’s Newspaper was able to pin down Elizabeth Diller and Ricardo Scofidio long enough to talk about both these projects as well as the experience of working with Broad and what it means to be a ‘starchitect’ (spoiler alert: they don’t like that word).
There are curmudgeonly old men and then there’s Eli Broad, whose secrecy around the design of his LA museum seems to be putting everyone off. First, he wouldn’t reveal the site, then he wouldn’t reveal the architecture firms he was considering and now that he’s chosen one he won’t reveal the design until he breaks ground in the fall. Of course, as a private owner, Broad is under no obligation to reveal any part of his operation, but many in LA claim he’s “making a mockery of the public process,” and that his refusal to share his plans is “a disaster for LA, which will effectively have no say over one of the most important cultural institutions in history.”