By Łukasz Chaberka & Michał Chrapek
Increasing population in dense cites develops already existing transportation problems. The solution is to create additional communication layer. That is why we have chosen already built structure: High Line in New York, former urban railway 8 meters above the street level. Today it serves as a public park but we believe that its strong, steel structure and length provide great opportunity to create fully functional housing estate.
We propose to create The High Line Community. It is a group of people living in timber modular buildings located on existing structure, 2.33 km (1.45 mile) long. As a city above the city, it gathers all uses: residental buildings, glazed semi-public floors between flats and High Line path (exhibitions, open offices, greenhouses, shops), open spaces on adjacent roofs containing squares, playgrounds, gardens etc. The walk path serves as seamless communication spine. Connection with the street level is provided by already existing elevators and staircases as well as designed ones. Bike parkings beneath the steel structure offer residents link with the regular streets tissue.
The construction structure is based on three-floors modules founded on four main timber columns which spacing corresponds with existing steel ones. The usual module is 7m wide and 9m long. Each module consists of two big flats and two studio apartments to provide mixed tenure on the estate. The goal of the project is to expose the main construction material: Kerto LVL inside apartments and on the High Line level.
Typical problem with wooden construction systems is low termal inertia. To cope with it we put Phase Changing Material (PCM) as a ceiling component which cumulates heat and works as passive cooling. In addition, smart panels with dark painted pipes systems located on southern facade allow PCM to accumulate temperature during the cold days' noons. The northern panels radiate heat to cool the building when needed. To diversify electricity sources solar panels are placed on the roofs.