We believe the Camden Highline’s greatest potential lies in embracing diverse stories – both human and natural – that flow through Camden and its surrounds. For the Camden Highline project Heta brought together the international landscape design talents and expertise of RIOS and Uncommon Land.
- Category: Architecture
- Location: London
- Status: Competition
A New Landscape Experience for Camden
In September 2020 Camden Town Unlimited launched the international competition to find a design team for the Camden Highline, London, UK.
The Camden Highline is modelled on the hugely successful New York High Line and comprises a new public park and garden walk, transforming the elevated railway between Camden Town and King’s Cross into a new green artery for London.
The Highline will be 1.2km long, running some 8-metres above the ground offering an unfamiliar and unique perspective on the city, away from the hustle bustle of the streets below. The Highline will link the hugely popular Camden Market to the rapidly developing King’s Cross development, in a little over ten minutes.
The Camden Highline is a really exciting proposal which is capturing the public imagination and would contribute to the Council's ambition to improve links between Camden Town, Camley Street and King's Cross. The Council is ready to work with those behind the project as it moves forward.
Enabling a Creative Collaboration
Heta are engaged in creative collaborations and strategic partnerships with leading industry experts and innovators with shared values of human-centred and sustainable design excellence from various fields of expertise.
For the Camden Highline project Heta brought together the international landscape design talents and expertise of RIOS and Uncommon Land. As creative collaborators, the resourceful experimentation that propels the transdiciplinary work of RIOS in Los Angeles was harmoniously balanced by the meticulous focus and precision of Uncommon Land a new London based landscape architecture practice.
Fueled by curiosity and compassion for the diverse communities with whom they work, RIOS’ collaborative process embraces many points of view to alchemize deep insights into authentic designs. This collaborative journey started on the design competition where the international design team was brought together in a series of workshops facilitated by Heta utilising a virtual environment to share and exchange ideas.
This innovative project has the potential to become a real asset for Camden and is a great example of a local community taking an idea and garnering support in order to make it a reality. I look forward to seeing it develop.
Our Vision for the Camden Highline
Much more than a singular piece of infrastructure, we envision the Highline as a collection of STORYLINES – timelines, treelines, throughlines, sightlines, flowlines – that connect and intersect to create magical spaces for the people of Camden and beyond.
The Camden Highline’s potential will be unlocked by harnessing the authentic diversity of its human and wild communities as a catalyst for positive change in the city. To understand this diversity, our design team will approach this project with curiosity and compassion - as detectives, archaeologists, anthropologists, and scientists - seeking to unearth and amplify the unique stories and intrinsic qualities of Camden:
- a place where hazel and hawthorn, rowan and birch grew out of London clay;
- a place of steel and brick, railway and canal, markets and music;
- a place of contrast, industrial past, for anybody who calls it home;
- a place of no judgments, and a place of individuality;
- a place where misfits will feel like they belong.
Through the lens of storytelling, we will together frame unexpected encounters with friends and neighbours; create opportunities for active living and reflection; create settings for the arts, performance and events; foster habitats for urban flora and fauna. We will invent novel ecologies to strengthen biophilic connections to nature and reveal unique facets of Camden’s history and contemporary culture. In so doing, we will convert the tensions between nature and culture into places that are exuberant and alive, multisensory, dynamic, and memorable.
At a time of profound environmental and social disconnect, we have never had a more vital obligation to recover the sublime abundance of nature and bring people together equitably. Our vision for the Camden Highline asks how we can bring Camden’s many storylines together to catalyze a transformative project that heals, empowers, and inspires a celebration of diversity through shared experiences in a truly democratic space.