On a recent trip to New York, I was able to visit The Highline, one of my favorite public spaces in the city. Although the park has only been open to the public since 2009, I’ve visited often. I never tire of this wonderful feature, so specific to New York. It’s one of those special places where I feel completely relaxed and gain a bit of solitude, even in the middle of bustling Manhattan.
One of the many interesting aspects of The Highline, which is actually built on a raised train track that overlooks the Hudson, is the way the landscape design blends seamlessly with the surrounding buildings. The park, which was a collaboration between James Corner Field Operations and Diller Scofidio + Refro, was made to be accessible to the streets below, so there are multiple stairwells along the walkway. The walkway itself is built above much of the plants, which keeps visitors in the thick of the foliage without the risk of trampling the delicate undergrowth.
It’s interesting to see so much greenery surrounded by all the traffic and tall buildings. Piet Oudolf, the planting designer, used many native plants to the area, some of which were already growing on The Highline when it was still only a deserted train track. I love how the designers tucked artworks along the walkway and amongst the plants.
Here are a few images I took while walking back to the office from a client’s place downtown:
If you happen to visit The Highline, you must grab a snack on your way out at the Chelsea Market!