The New York High Line was constructed in the 1930s and is a 1.5-mile-long historic elevated rail structure on the West Side of Manhattan, passing the famous Meatpacking District. The today disused High Line was the object of an international competition, which was organised by the City of New York and the Friends of the High Line (FHL), a non-profit organization dedicated to the preservation and reuse of the High Line.
The team of Field Operations (landscape architecture) and Diller Scofidio + Renfro (architecture) were finally selected to begin design work on the High Line. In June the first section of the green promenade will be opened.
Diller Scofidio + Renfro:
“Inspired by the melancholic, unruly beauty of this postindustrial ruin, where nature has reclaimed a once vital piece of urban infrastructure, the new park interprets its inheritance. It translates the biodiversity that took root after it fell into ruin in a string of site-specific urban microclimates along the scratch of railway that include sunny, shady, wet, dry, windy, and sheltered spaces.Through a strategy of agri-tecture – part agriculture, part architecture – the High Line surface is digitised into discrete units of paving and planting which are assembled along the 1.5 miles into a variety of gradients from 100% paving to 100% soft, richly vegetated biotopes. The paving system consists of individual pre-cast concrete planks with open joints to encourage emergent growth like wild grass through cracks in the sidewalk. The long paving units have tapered ends that comb into planting beds creating a textured, “pathless” landscape where the public can meander in unscripted ways. The park accomodates the wild, the cultivated, the intimate and the social. Access points are durational experiences designed to prolong the transition from the frenetic pace of city streets to the slow otherworldly landscape above.”