RESEARCH – HIGHLINE

Architect:  Diller Scofidio + Renfro and Piet Oudolf

Year realisation: 2014

Size: 2.33 km

Location: New York, USA

Elements: walkway, plants, trees, viewpoints

Materials: steel, greenery, stone

The Highline is an out of use railroad trestle along the Hudson River in New York which has been transformed in a public landscape. A linear landscape elevated above ground level. The noise of the city is far away, traffic lights don’t stop you, you float thru Manhattan which creates a unique perspective on the urban landscape.

The design team took really good care of the old railroad trestle, used the railroad tracks and even the planting is inspired of the old free seeded crow of plants. The species of perennials, grasses, shrubs and trees were chosen for their hardiness, sustainability, and textural and color variation, with a focus on native species. Many of the species that originally grew on the High Line’s rail bed are incorporated into the park’s landscape. Responsible for the planting in the Dutchman Piet Oudolf.

Walking over the highline you start to realise how important it is to have greenery in a city, how old unused structures can be transform in a positive space and how a positive transformation can influence the neighbourhood. The Highline is a big success, the park gets nearly 5 million visitors each year. You notice that when you walk the Highline together with a bunch of tourists. It can be overcrowded, which has a negative influence on the experience. The best way to enjoy this park is at 6 o’clock in the morning, take a 2.3 km run above New York.

Patterns:

53 Main gateways – there is no main gateway. To enter the highline you have to take stairs or an elevator, this point could be seen as gateways

62 High space – the complete park is on a higher space

88 Street café – along the 2,3 km walk you will find a couple of cafés.

106 Positive outdoor space – in my opinion the concept creates a positive outdoor space. Due to the success of the project, the Highline can be to busy to enjoy.

114 Hierarchy of open space – the design contains some more open spaces alternated with more closed green spaces.

120 Paths and goals – the linear character of the Highline is a clear guideline. More open and closed spaces are good focus points during your trip.

125 Stair seats – there are a couple of stair seats creating an amphitheatre-like space above 10th Avenue. A really amazing design element.

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