Replacing the Ground

Diller Scofidio + Renfro Lincoln Center New York

Diller Scofidio + Renfro Lincoln Center New York

Diller Scofidio + Renfro Lincoln Center New York

Next week, while Bobby and Kyle are wandering around Portland, I will be wandering around New York City, a place I haven’t really visited since living there… has it really been that many… six years ago.  Of the countless things to see and do there, I am most excited about stalking a number of projects by Diller, Scofidio + Renfro that have been completed over the past half-decade. Two of the firm’s most visible projects in the city are the High Line and the renovations to the Lincoln Center, and both projects challenge traditional notions of the ground.

The images above are of the illumination lawn, one of the many additions to the Lincoln Center realized by DS+R. The complex curving lawn hides a restaurant below, allowing the firm to add public green space and a fancy restaurant in one steel swoop. The pavilion along with the High Line are exciting and novel ways of introducing green space into densely urban areas. So while it may be cold and windy, I will be shivering all over these projects and pretending it’s still early September.

Maybe because of the digital tools that architects use to develop and present projects, it’s easy to stop thinking of space as something tangible. But it’s very real. Even though I’ve re-visited New York many times through pictures or remembering what it was like to walk around its streets, it’s much more exciting to actually be going back and putting my feet on the ground. The ground in these projects is atypical, green in a city that is mostly concrete and weird fragments of nature in completely unnatural presentations.

Alex Dent

November 16, 2012 / By