High Line 2 Sneak Peek: Lounging Lawn, Flyovers, and the "Chelsea Thicket"

The designers of New York's famed High Line park have saved the best for second.

New York High Line park

New York's most fascinating park, The High Line, is set for a grand expansion, and FastCompany.com got a look at a video simulation of what the new section of the park will look like.

Currently, the High Line occupies an all-too-short, re-purposed stretch of elevated rail line from 14th Street to 20th Street. The second phase, which will be completed by next spring, expands the park dramatically from 20th street to 30th. The designers, James Corner Field Operations and Diller Scofidio + Renfro, seem to have saved the park's very best features for the new section.

Above: What the designers are calling a "spur," a seating area overlooking 26th street. The viewing frame that defines the space is meant to recall the bygone billboards that once attached to the railway.

To see the new features being added, skip to 1:55:

[Video by Brooklyn Digital Foundry]

Below: At one point, the designers will strip away the concrete deck of the High Line, revealing the girders that support the entire structure. Visitors can "float above" on a viewing platform:

New York High Line park

The High Line will get its very own version of Central Park's wild and woolly Ramble—a dense stretch of trees and shrubs called the Chelsea Thicket:

New York High Line park

The plantings have been carefully thought out—most are species that grow naturally, but they've been interspersed with other plantings, so that each stretch always has something in bloom during growing season:

New York High Line park

A new access point at 30th street:

New York High Line park

Maybe the park's grandest feature, a "flyover" where the walkway rises above the High Line's level, and into the shady canopy of sumac trees. The plants fill in the emptied space below, and to adapt to the shade cast from overhead, they've been selected from the among plants that naturally grown in the shadows between New York's tall buildings:

New York High Line park

The High Line will also finally get a nice lawn for lounging, and bleacher seating too:

New York High Line park

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  • NoahRobischon

    Timing is everything. I'm not sure anyone had even heard of the High Line in 2008. Now that it's going to be built, these drawings are more than just... drawings.

  • nyctheblog

    Ha! That's subjective, I guess? FWIW, as far as I could tell, it's been a media darling for years. For example:

    The New York Sun: Building That Straddles High Line Park Adapts to Times http://www.thehighline.org/pre... (May 2005)

    New York Magazine: High Line in 2016: http://nymag.com/realestate/fe... (May 2006)

    The Villager: Work on High Line park project is chugging along: http://www.thevillager.com/vil... (March 2007)

    New York Magazine: The High Line: It Brings Good Things to Life: http://nymag.com/news/features... (April 2007)

    New York Observer: And He’s Building a Stairway to High Line: http://www.observer.com/2007/a... (October 2007)

    The New York Times: High Line Designs Are Unveiled: http://cityroom.blogs.nytimes.... (June 2008)

    Granted, these are ny papers, but you get the point.

  • Tyler Gray

    Yep, Curbed had the images. This is the first time I've seen the video, though. I've changed the post to take down the claim that we got the first look at the images.

  • Noah Robischon

    Yes, a huge portion of it is already complete. See our previous coverage...

  • Ken Carbone

    Building on the success of Part 1, this plan looks very promising. It seems as if the design team has taken the knowledge of what's working now and is expanding on it to great effect. The "Ramble" and the walk in the canopy are beautiful examples of design restraint while producing exciting results. However, watch out for those stilettos heels on the "flyover's" slotted metal decking!

  • Sheena Medina

    I would hope people wouldn't visit a park in stiletto heels, but this is New York we're talking about here, and sadly I know one person who might do just that! Oy vey!

  • Chris Reich

    This story shows what is possible on a million levels from idea to design to restoration of blight. It's all amazing, really amazing and not the amazing some people apply to everything from a sandwich to a pair of shoes. Really amazing.

    The presentation of the idea is brilliant. I learned a lot about bringing an idea to life from the video.

    Now the negative thoughts creep in. What will this look like after the public defaces it with urine, spray paint, and trash? What will happen after the first assault? Will the police be stationed "up there" on the walls of Mornemont?

    My hope is that "we" do not tarnish what could be.

    Chris Reich

  • Sheena Medina

    The NYC Dept. of Parks & Recreation has done an excellent job of protecting the current stretch of high line. There have been very few, if any, "assaults" on it. I have been several times since its high profile opening, including a visit last weekend, and have noticed no deterioration due to public vandalism. Plus, I think people realize how special it is and how defacing it would provide no gain.