Alexandra Lange
Architecture & design critic

Standard Operating Procedure

From the earliest days of the High Line, the new park being built from a 1.5 mile abandoned elevated rail line on Manhattan’s west side, its future was literally entwined with that of hotelier Andre Balazs’s first ground-up property, the Standard New York. The High Line passes through two other former industrial buildings, but the Standard is and likely will be the only structure built fresh over the former railbed, a portal over the park’s entrance seen in segments as you walk up Diller Scofidio + Renfro’s southernmost “slow staircase.” Other buildings touch the tracks, but the 20-story hotel straddles them. So it was with some relief that, as the hotel took shape, one could see that its concrete legs looked both shapely and tough, its underside crisply detailed and without fuss. The twinkling begins above, where the frame is filled with glass and bent at the center, so that the smaller operable windows sparkle within the grid.