martes, 25 de junio de 2013

A city on two levels.

In 1483, Leonardo Da Vinci talked about a city articulated on two levels with a strict separation between production operations and upper class concerns, reflecting the structure of aristocratic palazzos. The family of the owner of the building lived on the first floor, which would be entered from the upper street, while the lower floor was in service areas (kitchens, storeroom and wood store) opening onto a wide courtyard that would communicate with the lower street. 

Those plans were not capable of being realized in those years, but today these ideas are a fact in some cities around the world. Can you imagine a city articulated on two levels? A city where pedestrians are able to walk in passages over the road. Can you imagine walking without stopping at red traffic lights?.

I know some examples of this, some passages over the cities that give us a new vision of them.

The first time I saw this was in Hong Kong, last September. When I got off the tube station and came onto the street I felt fascinated about those passages over the road. I had a new perspective, the buildings were closed to me, I was able to take photos from a different perspective, I felt like a child with this discovery. I would like to share with you some of the pics I took  those days.

Hong Kong Island, Connaught Road. ©Susanalf. 2012

HK, Connaught Rd. ©Susanalf.2012

Hong Kong Island, around Central Tube Station.

©Susanalf. 2012.

Later, last winter, in New York I discovered High Line. The High Line is a public park built on 1,45 mile-long elevated rail structure running from Gasevoort Street to 34th Street on Manhattan´s West Side.

I love this place, I love going from the 34th West Street and walk along the park discovering the city from high, watching the empty spaces between the buildings, looking to the horizon.

Along the promenade from 34th to 14th you can discover different pieces of art that changes constantly. We are going to discover together some of these pieces.

El Anatsui, Broken Bridge. 
21st, November, 2012 - Summer, 2013.
Western wall between West 21st and West 22nd Streets on the High Line
Broken Bridge II by Nigeria-based artist El Anatsui, the largest outdoor installation ever made by the artist. A monumental sculpture made of pressed tin and mirrors, the work will hang on an outdoor wall next to the High Line, between West 21st and West 22nd Streets, and will be visible from the park and the street below it. 

Around 22nd West Street you can find some fine art galleries; this is the Chelsea art district. A view of one of the galleries.

Some views of NY from the high.

Untitled, by Virginia Overton.

Thursday, 13th September, 2012 - Summer, 2013.

Edison ParkFast stacked parking lot, West 20th Street at 10th Avenue.

I always feel fascinated about New York´s parkings and, of course, I love this sculpture by Virginia Overton, a Brooklyn-based artist who transformed a pickup truck into a site-specific sculpture installed in the Edison ParkFast stacked parking lot next to the High Line at West 20th Street.

A view from the street of the park near West 14th st.

A piece from Japanese artist Tomoaki Suzuki.

Thursday, 19th April, 2012- Monday, 1st April, 2013.

I love this piece which belongs to Lilliput, a reflection on the traditional role of high scale public art.

Some pics I took my last day in New York. 
It was Easter weekend and the park was full of tourists enjoying the sun. 

©Juan A. Lopez Martin. 1972

To finish I would like to share this picture with you. This is my father´s thesis, a 1972 project about a Commercial and Civic Centre in two high for the old gas factory in Madrid. Again a city in two highs.

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