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Studio Weave and Architecture 00 win Camden Highline job

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Studio Weave and Architecture 00 have won an invited contest for a new 0.8km High Line-style project in Camden, north London

The co-located practices defeated an undisclosed shortlist of rival firms to win the commission for initial design concepts in a competition backed by the Camden Town Unlimited (CTU) business improvement district.

The project will transform a 0.8km stretch of raised abandoned railway tracks into a new linear park connecting Camden Town with King’s Cross.

Commenting on the scheme, CTU chief executive Simon Pitkeathley said: ‘We think the re-use of this railway line for the Camden Highline outweighs the benefits and costs of leaving it vacant. This new transport link can reduce overcrowding and journey times on the existing, cycling and pedestrian routes nearby, like Regent’s Canal.

‘Making innovative use of disused space can create new employment opportunities as well as economic, health and quality of life improvements for the local community.’

The appointment comes eight years after Diller Scofidio + Renfro and James Corner Field Operations completed their much-admired High Line Park in New York.

The latest projects aims to mimic the success of the New York scheme by regenerating an 18m-wide and 8m-high stretch of disused track, formerly part of the North London Railway.

Once completed, the new garden walk will create a 10-minute pedestrian link between Kentish Town Road in Camden Town and Camley Street in Kings Cross, bypassing eight busy roads using eight historic existing bridges.

A tender for a team to deliver a detailed feasibility study for the project will be launched following public consultations.

Camden High Line

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Readers' comments (3)

  • The related video refers to a 'proposed temporary public park', and it would be useful to know whether TfL thinks that - in the longer term - this very busy stretch of the North London railway will have to expand from two tracks back to four. A stretch to the east has already been widened as part of the development of the London Overground system, in conjunction with the reconstruction of the old abandoned 'high line' down to Broad Street, from Dalston Kingsland through Hoxton to Shoreditch.
    It's right that the sheer brilliance of the Manhattan High Line park should inspire the grasping of similar opportunities in other cities, but the remarkable success of the London Overground expansion clearly demonstrates the need to reconcile linear park development on old railway routes - creating new cycle and pedestrian links - with the need for improved public transport links. Ideally they'd coexist.

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  • This scheme reminds me of a much earlier 'high-line' that didn't go ahead. When I was at Arup Associates in the early '80s Peter Foggo proposed a landscaped route on the redundant railway line between Dalston and Broad Street Station, which was going to be demolished to make way for the Broadgate Development. Together with Stuart Lipton he went to see Hackney Council about its implementation but it was being 'rate-capped' by the Thatcher government at the time and opted for a more straightforward type of what is now known as a Section 106 Agreement. Had the line been landscaped it would surely have been the busiest cycle route and landscaped corridor in central London.

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  • Why does no-one ever mention the lovely Coulée Verte or Promenade Plantée (4.7 km), in Paris, which opened in 1993, predating the Manhattan version by some 16 years? I have walked along it and it is great.

    Grace KENNY

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