New York High Line firm to design Camden 'park in the sky'

An aerial view of the disused railway that will become a walking path

An aerial view of the disused railway that will become a walking path - Credit: Camden Highline

A US firm will design the Camden Highline after winning an international competition for the ‘park in the sky’ connecting Camden Town to King’s Cross.

Field Operations, which was behind the New York High Line that inspired the Camden project, will lead on the £35 million elevated park stretching between Camden Gardens and York Way.  

The project, which was started by Camden Town Unlimited in 2017, will create a walking route eight metres above the ground using three quarters of a mile of disused railway. The first phase of the scheme is scheduled to open in 2024.  

Lead designer James Corner, from Field Operations, said: “Camden is such an extraordinary place, a vibrant, hip, and diverse community that will soon enjoy an amazingly unique, public green thread that ties its various communities together in ways both revelatory and transformative. 

“We could not be more excited to work with residents and stakeholders to create a one-of-a-kind elevated park along the viaduct that speaks to the magical symbiosis of nature, culture, arts, and community.” 

The first phase of the scheme is scheduled to open in 2024

The first phase of the scheme is scheduled to open in 2024 - Credit: Camden Highline

The design competition received 75 entries over five months. The winner, Field Operations, will work with a team including Kentish Town-based vPPR Architects, London artist Hew Locke, community consultation organisation Street Space, and Dutch garden designer Piet Oudolf.  

Camden Council leader Cllr Georgia Gould said: “Camden Highline is a grassroots project that has been grown and nurtured by a vibrant community of local supporters.  

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“It has been amazing to watch it go from an idea backed by locals to now seeing it secure global attention and an award-winning design team.” 

Camden Highline’s CEO, Simon Pitkeathley, said: "Every time we reach another milestone, I find myself thinking that I can't believe we've come so far so quickly.  

“Something that started as a bit of a mad idea is now going to be designed by a team of the finest people we could ever have hoped to work with. I cannot wait to see their ideas unfold and be put into practice.” 

Plans for the Camden Highline started in 2017

Plans for the Camden Highline started in 2017 - Credit: Camden Highline

The Camden Highline has received funding from LabTech, the King’s Cross Central Limited Partnership, Camden Council and Camden Town Unlimited. A public fundraiser has raised more than £63,000 for the project. 

A design plan will now be put together after consultation with the local community.

To sign up for a Q&A on March 11 about the Camden Highline visit https://www.eventbrite.com/e/qa-with-camden-highline-design-team-tickets-141168427567

The New York High Line

The New York High Line - Credit: Saggittarius A/Wikimedia Commons


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