The Camden Highline is moving closer to completion, with the winning design for the long-awaited sky park revealed.
Ever dreamed of a park in the sky that could lead you from Camden to King’s Cross? Well, good news – the much-anticipated Camden Highline is in its next phase of development. Last year, the Camden Highline Charity announced a competition for an exceptional team to design the new sky park, with a cool £10,000 prize up for grabs for the winner. After shortlisting five worthy entries, the charity has selected their champion, who will now be tasked with bringing the Camden Highline to life.
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The Camden Highline was inspired by the extremely successful New York City High Line, and comprises a linear garden walk and an elevated park. A disused stretch of railway viaduct between Camden Town and King’s Cross will be transformed into a picturesque green oasis that will be open to all. This new green space will be 1.1km long, roughly eight metres above ground, and you can expect an enchanting walking route with seating areas, cafes, art installations. and charitable activities. And if the popularity of the New York High Line is anything to go by, the Camden Highline will be all the rage!
From 76 original entrants, the charity narrowed it down to one team that can bring the sky vision to life. A team led by James Corner Field Operations have been chosen as the winners of the design competition, with a mandate to “prioritis[e] sustainability, accessibility and innovation to deliver a creative new green space that will elevate London’s status in inclusive urban design”.
We are excited to announce that @fieldoperations will be leading the team designing #CamdenHighline! Their team includes Kentish Town-based vPPR Architects, London artist Hew Locke, community consultation organisation Street Space and garden designer Piet Oudolf, among others. pic.twitter.com/0t8K1cn2Hj
— Camden Highline (@CamdenHighline) February 15, 2021
One would assume that the plan has long held the inside track to victory, given that the firm’s founding father – legendary landscape designer James Corner – actually designed the NYC High Line which so inspired Camden’s. However, their submission stresses that the different contexts mean “Camden’s Highline will not be like New York’s”, so we’re hopefully in for something wholly unique. Their proposal featured wildflower meadows, natural habitats for animals, and a woodland thicket rising from amongst the old railway tracks.
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Though Field Operations will take the lead on the project, they’ll have help from a variety of local outfits, including Brixton-based sculptor Hew Locke, vPPR Architects from Kentish Town, and community consultation group Street Space, who’ve worked wonder with community engagement projects in Barking and Dagenham. Per a press release, the next phase of the project will see the team collaborate with the local community and key stakeholders to finalise an inclusive plan, and begin moving through the planning process.
The Camden Highline project is mooted as “a positive example of London’s post-Covid recovery”, with a strong focus on local access to green space, community pride, and attracting tourism. Though we’re unlikely to be strolling along the completed park soon, the initial first phase of the Camden Highline is tentatively scheduled to open in 2024, so that’s the first date for your diaries. In the meantime, you can donate to help make the park a reality here, with some neat gifts a reward for your contribution.
It’s a huge step forward in one of London’s most exciting developments – “a one-of-a-kind elevated park […] that speaks to the magical symbiosis of nature, culture, arts, and community”, per lead designer James Corner – so we’ll be waiting with baited breath for London’s loveliest new park to be built!