2015 New York Design Awards

spaces, objects, visual, graphic, digital & experience design
design champion, best studio, best start-up & best supplier
plus over 40 specialist categories

accelerate transformation, celebrate courage
growing demand for design




Gold Winner 

Project Overview

The third and northernmost section on the park, the High Line at the Rail Yards, opens to the public. Friends of the High Line celebrates 15 years of successful advocacy to preserve the entire structure.

Project Commissioner

The High Line/NYCEDC

Project Creator

James Corner Field Operations


The northernmost section of the High Line was designed by James Corner Field Operations
(Project Lead), Diller Scofidio + Renfro, and Piet Oudolf – along with a team of structural engineers, lighting
designers, electrical and mechanical experts, and other construction specialists, under the
leadership and direction of the Economic Development Corporation.

Project Innovation/Need

The High Line has brought about the renaissance of Manhattan’s west side, connecting New Yorkers with a pioneering new park
and inspiring new ways to think about legacy public assets around the city and world. It's a prime example of how smart public investment can create extraordinary returns for New Yorkers.

Design Challenge

Converting each section of the High Line from an out-of-use railroad trestle to a public landscape entailed not only years of planning, community input, and work by some of the city's most inventive designers, but also more than two years of construction per section.


Self-seeded grass, trees and other plants grew on the out-of-use elevated rail tracks during the 25 years after the trains stopped running. These grasses and trees inspired the planting designer Piet Oudolf to "keep it wild." Nearly half of the plant species and cultivars planted on the High Line are native to the United States.

The High Line's green roof system is designed to allow the plants to retain as much water as possible. In addition, there is an irrigation system installed with options for both automatic and manual watering.

The High Line is inherently a green structure. It re-purposes a piece of industrial infrastructure as a public green space. The High Line landscape functions essentially like a green roof; porous pathways contain open joints, so water can drain between planks and water adjacent planting beds, cutting down on the amount of storm-water that runs off the site into the sewer system.

This award celebrates creativity and innovation in the use of practical, aesthetic, horticultural, and environmental sustainability components, taking into account climate, site and orientation, site drainage and irrigation, human and vehicular access, furnishings and lighting.
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