The Camden Highline proposed by London has been submitted for planning. Led by the practice behind the New York High Line, James Corner Field Operations and Camden-based firm vPPR Architects, the project will regenerate a disused railway viaduct to establish an elevated park that connects Camden Town to Kings Cross.
The master plan will create walking routes between local neighborhoods and inject needed green space into a mix of communities. It will include gardens, walkways, rest areas, cafes, artistic and cultural interventions, spaces for charitable activities and play areas for children. The initiative also aims to boost the area’s biodiversity by providing wildlife habitats for birds, insects and animals.
“We are extremely excited to share this design vision for Camden Highline,” said lead designer James Corner. “The design aims to celebrate and amplify the unique characteristics of the railway viaduct, dramatizing movement and discovery, in a sequence of woodlands, meadows and gardens.”
The route is designed to have a circular application of materials and construction, in which the existing space is revitalized through the use of materials salvaged from the site wherever possible. It will span nearly a mile and rise just over 26 feet from the ground. In Camden, the Highline will pass through some of the region’s most densely populated social housing estates, connecting 20,000 people to new green spaces. It is also expected to attract up to two million visitors a year, with nearly 20 million expected to head to Camden Town and Kings Cross.
The submission includes the first phase of the master plan, which stretches from Camden Gardens to Royal College Street. It will open in phases from 2025. This marks a milestone for the project, which originated as a concept in a local newspaper in 2017 and grew through a crowdfunding campaign.
Throughout the planning process, the design team worked closely with community consultation organization Street Space to maximize local engagement. In addition to James Corner Field Operations and vPPR Architects, the team includes Dutch landscape architect Piet Oudolf and artist and curator Hew Locke. The masterplan will also include lighting design by Speirs Major and typography and wayfinding by design agency Pentagram.
The Camden Highline is set to be the centerpiece of a wider public realm strategy, Camden Green Loop, which aims to link Camden’s main landmarks and existing green spaces through public roads. The eponymous charity behind the project is now raising funds for the construction. Donations can be made on their website hereas well as access to more information and updates.
“The design team led by Field Operations exceeded our already high expectations and there is no doubt that The Camden Highline will be a magnificent park in the sky,” said Simon Pitkeathley, CEO of Camden Highline. “Now the real challenge is to raise the necessary funds for its construction so that we can all benefit from it. This will involve a collaborative effort from various funding sources, and we’d love to talk to anyone who thinks they can help. »