The High Line
New York, NY, USA
New York is estimated to gain $900 million in revenue and $4 billion in private investment as a direct result of redevelopment in the surrounding area
Many of the original steel rails were restored for reuse in the new designs, reducing both the cost and environmental impact of the project
Built in the 1930s and last used in 1980, the High Line was a little known and long abandoned stretch of elevated railroad that spanned Manhattan’s meatpacking district when an initiative to determine the fate of the line began in 1999. Demolition seemed imminent until, after a competitive selection process, the Friends of the High Line and the City of New York commissioned BuroHappold Engineering and Field Operations, Diller Scofidio+Renfro to create a masterplan for the reuse and reintegration of the railroad.
The overarching challenge on this project was how we could transform an abandoned and overgrown freight train track into a public park that will delight residents of New York and visitors to the city alike. It was essential to create a design that would marry the industrial past represented by the High Line with a sustainable future for the site, within this modern metropolis.
The idea to transform this desolate track into a beautiful park was realized through the concept of agriculture, which changes the rules of engagement between plant life and pedestrians by combining organic and building materials in varying proportions to accommodate the wild, the cultivated, the intimate, and the social.
BuroHappold created two structures to fulfil this ethereal vision - the Flyover is an elevated steel walkway engineered so as to appear to float above the main path, and the Cutout is a steel mesh deck providing views down to 30th Street below.
To further preserve the High Line’s unique character, the design give the appearance of remaining perpetually unfinished so that it can sustain emergent growth and change over time, forever creating a place of community engagement, connectivity and inspiration.
The success of the project has been reinforced with the redevelopment of the surrounding area that has occurred alongside this multi-phase project. Offering views of the Hudson River and unique glimpses of the cityscape from its third-story vantage point, the value of the High Line as a link to New York’s industrial heritage has been integrated into the opportunities it offers for the future.
Creating a tranquil wilderness in the heart of the metropolis. Image: Eric Soltan
Our engineers transformed an abandoned 1930s freight train track into a beautiful park that meanders through Manhattan's trendy meatpacking district
We built a sustainable future from the industrial past using a design that appears perpetually unfinished, allowing for growth and change over the years
More about The High Line
When we integrate our engineering specialisms around a core theme (we call these Service Offers), the benefits to the client multiply.