[Image: Friends of the High Line]

In 1934, a new railway opened in New York. Known as the High Line, the railway stretched over the city and carried goods to and from Manhattan’s largest industrial district. It would operate for nearly 50 years, until the last train ran on it in 1980. Property owners began lobbying for demolition of the railway, but activists fought them in court, aiming to preserve the historic structure. This led to the founding of Friends of the High Line in 1999, a group that advocated for the High Line not only to be preserved, but to be turned into a public park. Friends of the High Line proved victorious, and 10 years later, the first part of the new High Line park opened to the public.

Today the High Line is a unique public space that runs through the city, allowing people to walk on a boardwalk-like surface while admiring plant life among the skyscrapers. It’s an extremely popular tourist destination that receives more than 7 million visitors every year. Friends of the High Line remains active maintaining the park, fundraising and planning events – such as parties with fancy hats. Tonight, the High Line’s first-ever Hat Party will take place in the park, a sold-out cocktail and dance party that requires only one thing of its attendees: that they wear hats.

“Remember: anything can be a hat!” Friends of the High Line states. “Let the High Line’s history, evolution, and current trail-blazing ideals lend you inspiration, whether you choose to channel its nature, architecture, food, technology, art, voyeurism, or NYC roots.”

[Image: Hufton and Crow]

This proved to be an opportunity too good for Zaha Hadid Architects to pass up. The architectural and design studio is known for creative and experimental 3D printed works of art as well as avant-garde buildings, and one of those buildings just so happens to abut the High Line. So ZHA decided to design and 3D print a hat that would resemble its famous building at 520 W 28th St.

Also known as the Zaha Hadid Building, 520 W 28th is Hadid’s only residential building in New York and was one of her last projects before she passed away. It’s a curved, asymmetrical building made up of stacked, reflective layers, its shape resembling some sort of futuristic butterfly. The 3D printed H-Line hat, as it’s being called, echoes the building’s curved lines with a swooping design that lifts up above the wearer’s face in front and dips below the head in the back.

“520 W 28th’s split levels are expressed within the interlocking chevrons of its hand-crafted steel façade that shields residents from the elements, while its detailed workmanship continues the venerable tradition within New York’s historic architecture of enhancing the public realm,” says ZHA. “The fluid chevrons of 520 W 28th’s façade weave up the building, conveying its split levels and demarcating each residence within. The H-Line hat echoes these chevrons, weaving around the wearer with open and closed forms.”

Conveying the spirit of a building is a large task for a hat to accomplish, but the H-Line hat does it nicely, echoing the shape of the building while still looking like a fashionable hat, rather than a building sitting atop someone’s head. It’s colored in a gradient from blue to white for a striking effect, and will undoubtedly stand out at tonight’s Hat Party.

Discuss this and other 3D printing topics at 3DPrintBoard.com or share your thoughts below. 

[Images: Luke Hayes unless otherwise noted]

 

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