The arrangement of steps/benches at the 10th Ave. Square seems to be one of the more successful sections of the High Line – if you judge success at least partly on the visitors’ use of and engagement with the site.
People watch the traffic with real interest, college students share snacks, couples kiss, and (perhaps a mark of a really good landscape structure) pre-teen boys find a way to engage in semi-dangerous horseplay.
Below: the windows overlook northbound 10th Ave. (Click any photo for a clearer, larger view.)
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I am struck by the parallel between [Piet Oudolf's planting plans] and the musical scores of some great orchestral colourist such as Debussy, where the complexity of the music can barely be contained on the page. The composer knows exactly the impact on the orchestral texture, for example, of introducing a few notes on the bassoon here, just as Oudolf knows the effect of adding another plant. The difference being that a composer can to some extent try out ideas on the piano, whereas the plantsman has only his memory and his sense of composition. It is hard to think of another creative arena where so much knowledge and understanding is abstracted and codified to such an extent; in the case of a planting plan, to be translated as a seemingly effortless expression of natural beauty in four dimensions.
– Tom Stuart-Smith, “Dutch master: the garden design genius of Piet Oudolf“