The High Line

As you have probably seen on our social media, we were in New-York City a few weeks ago to attend Shoppe Object, the new trade show everybody is raving about!

While it has been a really busy few days, it was also quite challenging as our one and only boss lady Bianca wasn't able to do the trip with us!

We managed to get some extra days off to enjoy what NYC has to offer. And as good architecture & plant lovers, we went to visit the incredible High Line.

You may well know the High Line, this unique public space zig-zagging above the streets between the buildings of Chelsea and the Meatpacking District.

The High Line is an old railroad, which was used in the 30's to transport food and goods quickly between warehouses in factories without disturbing the street traffic. It fell into complete disuse in the 80's.

From then on, the railroad became a striving wild garden in the middle of Manhattan, and a lot of plants, small trees and a variety of grasses started taking over.

the Highline - photo by Joel Sternfeld

photo: Joel Sternfeld

The residents association "Friends of the High Line" drew the attention of the public to this old infrastructure in the 2000's by organising an international design competition to find a new purpose for this unique urban space. A team was chosen (landscape architecture firm James Corner Field Operations, design studio Diller Scofidio + Renfro, and planting designer Piet Oudolf) and the renovation began in 2006.

Each railroad section had been carefully surveyed and numbered, and all the existing infrastructure and elements had been stored to be reused after the renovation works. After that, some parts of the railroad had been put back on site to be part of the new public space project: for example, some sliding wooden chaise were playfully installed on the rails. The wild plants that once were freely growing had been reintroduced in the new contemporary space.

The High Line opened to the public in 2009 and is now one of the major touristic attraction in Manhattan and is also one of the major landscape architecture and public space projects of the last 20 years!

It is home to more than 500 plants which are all growing well alongside the new pathway. The High Line is worth visiting all year round as the landscape and vegetation are constantly changing, giving the visitors an unexpected point of view towards the city and its History.

For more info click here!