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Design team for Camden green infrastructure project announced

Words: Laura Edgar
Camden town / iStock-483172036

Charity Camden Highline has awarded a team led by James Corner Field Operations the contract to design a new elevated park that will link Camden Town to King’s Cross.

James Corner Field Operations designed South Park at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park and New York High Line. The firm will work in collaboration with Kentish Town-based vPPR Architects.

Lead designer James Corner, Field Operations, said: “Camden is such an extraordinary place, a vibrant, hip, and diverse community that will soon enjoy an amazingly unique, public green thread that ties its various communities together in ways both revelatory and transformative. We could not be more excited to work with residents and stakeholders to create a one-of-a-kind elevated park along the viaduct that speaks to the magical symbiosis of nature, culture, arts, and community.”

A two-stage international competition was launched to find a team to design the project, with the judges deciding from 76 entries and five shortlists.

The winners will work with the local community to transform a three-quarter-mile stretch of disused railway viaduct as a new walking route, park and open space.

The first stages of Camden Highline will involve James Corner Field Operations consulting with the local community and key works to creating an inclusive design plan for the walkway and advancing it through the planning process.

Camden Highline CEO Simon Pitkeathley said: “Every time we reach another milestone, I find myself thinking that I can't believe we’ve come so far so quickly. Something that started as a bit of a mad idea is now going to be designed by a team of the finest people we could ever have hoped to work with. I cannot wait to see their ideas unfold and be put into practice.”

The winners have brought together an alliance of specialists, including vPPR Architects, London artist Hew Locke, community consultation organisation Street Space and Dutch garden designer Piet Oudolf, among others.

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan said: “Camden Highline has the potential to become a really important new asset for the local community in Camden and people across the capital. This is exactly the sort of innovative, environmentally sustainable and locally driven project which could make an important contribution to London’s recovery from the pandemic. I really look forward to seeing these ambitious plans take shape.”

Georgia Gould, leader of Camden Council, said: “Camden Highline is a grassroots project that has been grown and nurtured by a vibrant community of local supporters. It has been amazing to watch it go from an idea backed by locals to now seeing it secure global attention and an award-winning design team. Camden, and indeed the whole of London, will reap the social and economic rewards that this exceptional new park will bring.”

Image credit | iStock