Iwan Baan, Architectural Photographer

An aerial shot, taken from the Standard Hotel. Photo by Iwan Baan.

This weekend, the New York Times ran a profile of international architectural photographer Iwan Baan. Iwan took a beautiful series of High Line photos in our first season, and we agree that there’s something groundbreaking about his style. Fred Bernstein of the Times writes:

Mr. Baan sees buildings as backdrops for his photographs of people, he said during a recent visit to New York. Looking at a picture of the new Cooper Union building in the East Village, designed by Mr. Mayne, Mr. Baan said, “It’s about the woman shuffling down the street.” His work owes as much to Diane Arbus and Henri Cartier-Bresson as to Julius Shulman or Ezra Stoller, the pre-eminent architectural photographers of the late 20th century.

Structural Integrity and People, Too [New York Times]

Click through for some of Iwan’s shots of the High Line.

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2009 in Pictures

Dear Friends,

2009 has been a remarkable year for the High Line. After spending the spring working on the final stages of construction, we opened the first section of the park in June. Since then, we estimate that nearly 2 million people have visited. We hope you were among these first visitors to the High Line, and that you return again and again in 2010.

The High Line’s first year as a public park has been truly amazing. We’ve pulled together some of our favorite pictures from this incredible, historic year. We hope you enjoy them!

We hope you’ll continue to support the High Line as we prepare for 2010.

Many thanks, and happy New Year,

Park visitors stroll and relax on the Diller – von Furstenberg Sundeck between 14th and 15th Streets. The Sundeck is one of the High Line’s most popular gathering spots, especially for sunbathers on bright summer days, and as a place to watch the sunset. Photo by Iwan Baan

“…The High Line is a hit, and not just with tourists but with New Yorkers who are openly relishing a place where they can reflect and relax enough to get a new perspective on Manhattan.”

—Diane Cardwell, For High Line Visitors, Park is a Railway Out of Manhattan, New York Times

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High Line among New York Times’ 2009 Architectural Triumphs

Photo by Librado Romero/The New York Times.

“Despite the fears and anxieties of many […] that rapacious developers would transform the High Line into a glorified mall,” Nicolai Ouroussoff wrote last week in the New York Times,  “it has already become—just five months after the completion of its first phase—one of the most beloved public spaces in New York.”

In a roundup of bright spots for what the Times calls a triumphal year for architecture, the High Line shines as the quintessential example of hope in New York City’s landscape.  The High Line, Ouroussoff writes, is proof “that an alliance of government officials, activists, architects and landscape designers can sometimes influence a city as much as big-money developers.”

Read the article here.

An Award for the High Line

We are proud to announce that the High Line has been bestowed with an award from the U.S. section of the International Association of Art Critics: First Prize for “Best Show in a Public Space.”  I have the honor of accepting this award at a reception at the Guggenheim Museum, alongside esteemed colleagues. A complete list of awardees is here (PDF).  Thank you AICA USA!

Press File: The “Happy Couple” on the Daily Beast

Earlier this summer, the Daily Beast‘s Matthew Dakotah interviewed co-founders Joshua David and Robert Hammond on their thoughts about the High Line’s opening season. The piece is now up, and offers a nice look into the minds of the guys behind the park. In it, Robert and Josh dish on their doubts and surprises along the way, what didn’t make it into the final designs, and how their own lives have changed over the past 10 years.  Josh on why the design team of James Corner Field Operations and Diller Scofidio + Renfro was selected:

“They understood the appeal of a forbidden landscape. The way we visited the High Line before it was opened to the public was surreptitious, and you had to find secret ways of getting to it. In one of their presentations they used the word “illicit,” and that was my version of “you had me at hello”. They had me at illicit. I’ve really come to love the 14th Street stair because it has that same sense of mystery. It captures the essence of what it used to feel like to go into that hidden park.”

Summer Lovers [The Daily Beast]

NYT Most-emailed: The High Line’s “small town in the air”

New York Times: July 22, 2009

Today, a new accolade! For the first time, an article about the High Line made it to the “most-emailed” list on the New York Times web site.

The article, called “The High Line: A Railway Out of Manhattan”, captures the special atmosphere up on the line– “almost a small town in the air… It even inspires crusty New Yorkers to behave as if they were strolling down Main Street.”

As a park visitor explained in the article:  “Here people tend to be more friendly… Those same people, you might see them someplace else and, you know,” she broke off, raising her eyebrows, “they’re kind of stressed.”

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Bill Cunningham: Elevated Fashion

billcunningham

What happens when adorable Sunday Styles mainstay Bill Cunningham turns his enthusiastic lens and microphone to the High Line?

We don’t want to attempt to describe this gem of an audio slide show in mere words, so you’d better just see for yourself. Let’s just say he thinks these kids and their elevated park are just mah-velous.