The Camden Highline charity has shortlisted five design teams from talent across the globe, all in with a chance to deliver the exceptional new green passage that will connect Camden Town to King’s Cross. The shortlisted entries all examined the relationships between humans and nature to define their individual approach for creating London’s very own Highline.
Following a two-month international design competition, Camden Highline has today announced a shortlist of five groups drawn from the seventy-six entries to deliver the newest park in the capital. The charity is searching to find the studio that can realise their ambitious vision of converting 1.1km of disused railway into a new green link, bridging Camden Town and King’s Cross.
The extraordinary nature of the brief did not go unnoticed, with high-quality entries being submitted from industry-leaders across the globe, all required to address the ‘creative tensions that exist between an urban environment and the natural world’. The Jury – compromised of Alison Brooks, Wayne Hemingway, Edward Jarvis, Indy Johar, Kathyrn Moore and Highline chair Richard Terry – faced the challenging task of selecting just five submissions to take forwards. The finalists are: Agence Ter (France), Benedetti (UK), Feilden Fowles (UK), James Corner Field Operations (USA) and We Made That (UK), with a winning team set to be announced in January 2021.
Reaching this milestone was made possible thanks to the support of a committed network of ‘Camden Highliners’ who crowdfunded the first phase of getting to this competition stage. The successful design group will continue collaborating with local community groups and stakeholders, instating a treasured public asset in the heart of Camden Town and King’s Cross. Chosen finalists will also have to demonstrate their abilities in prioritising sustainability, accessibility and innovation to deliver a creative new green space that will elevate London’s status in inclusive urban design, contributing to the recovery of the capital post-covid.
- Agence Ter (France) with Explorations Architecture, Buro Happold, Donald Insall Associates, Speirs + Major and Wayward.
French studio Agence Ter are the lead consultants for this submission, describing the team they have curated as “complementary, multidisciplinary and diverse”. They are offering a “creative and innovative dialogue” around the project whilst also maintaining an “assurance of proven technical ability”.
- Benedetti (UK) with Eiko Tomura Landscape Architects and Kathryn Firth Urban Design supported by Haruo Morishima; Noumena; Price & Myers; Design ID; Alan Baxter; Harley Haddow; LAPD Lighting and DP9.
Benedetti Architects are acting as team lead, taking the reins for architecture & landscape design and delivery. With a group formed of designers from England and Japan, they pitch themselves as a “sensitive team who listen before we speak or draw”, offering “collaborative energy, not ego”.
- Feilden Fowles (UK) with J&L Gibbons Landscape Architects supported by Goddard Consulting; Arup; Max Fordham; Deloitte; Michael Grubb Studio; Nomad Projects; Fossil Plants; Fanshawe; Sarah Couch Historic Landscapes; A Practice for Everyday Life; The Ecology Consultancy; JA Projects and Shared Assets.
Feilden Fowles and J&L Gibbons head on this entry – a duo who are currently working on the Natural History Museum’s ‘Urban Nature Project’. They describe themselves as a “uniquely local” team who have been “exchanging our personal stories and memories of places important to us along the Highline route” whilst preparing their submission.
- James Corner Field Operations (USA) with Piet Oudolf, vPPR Architects, Street Space, Hew Locke, Speirs + Major, Pentagram, AKT II, Atelier Ten, Tony Gee, and RLB.
As lead designers of the New York High Line, James Corner Field Operations are teaming up with Piet Oudolf to bring their “exceptional experience” to the table. They emphasise from the outset that “Camden’s Highline will not be like New York’s”, highlighting the “completely different context, both urban and cultural”.
- We Made That (UK) with Hassell, supported by Stockdale; Counterculture Partnership; Buro Happold; Phyto Studio; Stephen Levrant Heritage Architecture; The Young Foundation; PRD and the University of Sheffield Department of Landscape Architecture.
We Made That & Hassell are the design and management leads for this submission. Their entry focuses on the importance of the Camden Highline becoming “an example to the world of using landscape to deliver long-term, positive impacts across all ages, colours, backgrounds and abilities”.
CAMDEN HIGHLINE COMPETITION DETAILS
The competition is being managed by Colander Associates, visit the website to find out more. A winner is expected to be announced in January 2021. All seventy-six submissions including to the first stage of the competition can be viewed on the Camden Highline website.