High Line

  • High Line
    New York, New York, USA
  • Photograph copyright Iwan Baan.
  • Photograph copyright Iwan Baan.
  • Photograph copyright Iwan Baan.
  • The HighLine is a new 1.5-mile long public park built on an abandoned elevated railroadstretching from the Meatpacking District to the Hudson Rail Yards in Manhattan.

    Inspired bythe melancholic, unruly beauty of this postindustrial ruin, where nature hasreclaimed a once vital piece of urban infrastructure, the new park interpretsits inheritance. It translates the biodiversity that took root after it fellinto ruin in a string of site-specific urban microclimates along the stretch ofrailway that include sunny, shady, wet, dry, windy, and sheltered spaces.

    Through astrategy of agri-tecture—part agriculture, part architecture—the High Linesurface is digitized into discrete units of paving and planting which areassembled along the 1.5 miles into a variety of gradients from 100% paving to100% soft, richly vegetated biotopes. The paving system consists of individualpre-cast concrete planks with open joints to encourage emergent growth likewild grass through cracks in the sidewalk. The long paving units have taperedends that comb into planting beds creating a textured, “pathless” landscapewhere the public can meander in unscripted ways.

    The parkaccommodates the wild, the cultivated, the intimate, and the social. Accesspoints are durational experiences designed to prolong the transition from thefrenetic pace of city streets to the slow otherworldly landscape above.

    The High Line was designed in collaboration with James Corner Field Operations and Piet Oudolf.