Seven Firms Shortlisted for NYC High Line Master Plan


Friends of the High Line (FHL) and the City of New York announced April 20 that seven teams of architects, landscape architects, engineers, planners, and other design professionals are invited to compete to create a master plan for converting the High Line, a 1.5-mile-long elevated rail structure on Manhattan’s West Side, into public open space. The teams were selected from 52 responses to a FHL/City of New York Request For Qualifications released March 1.

The seven shortlisted firms are:

  • Field Operations (James Corner), Diller + Scofidio + Renfro
  • Zaha Hadid Architects
  • Steven Holl Architects
  • Latz + Partner, The Saratoga Associates
  • Rogers Marvel Architects, Gustafson Guthrie Nichol
  • OpenMeshWork.ORG: OpenOffice (Lyn Rice), Mesh Architectures (Eric Liftin), Work Architecture Company (Amale Andraos, Dan Wood)
  • TerraGRAM: Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates, D.I.R.T. Studio (Julie Bargmann), Beyer Blinder Belle (Neil Kittredge).

The High Line, built in the 1930s to get freight trains off of city streets, has not serviced rail freight since 1980. New York City and FHL have worked to convert the High Line to public space since December 2002, when the city filed a federal petition to convert the structure to an elevated urban walkway through the federal “rail-banking” program. The 2004 Transportation Bill contains $500,000 for the High Line. Five million dollars is included in the House version of the Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users (TEA-LU), the six-year federal transportation bill. The bill still must go through a House and Senate conference process and be signed by the President.

Each of the seven firms will now receive the first stage of a request for proposals (RFP), which asks them to detail their proposed approach to the High Line’s conversion. Based on their responses, the seven teams will be narrowed down to three finalists who will receive the RFP second stage, requesting graphic representations of possible design concepts for the line as a whole. The group expects to select a design team by this fall.

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