New York City’s popular High Line

Huge response to ‘Hammersmith Highline’ competition

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news Arts and parks, Environment

The new 'highline' would provide a unique green space in central Hammersmith. Pictured is New York City’s popular High Line. PHOTO: GETTY IMAGES

There has been an overwhelming response to the competition to come up with ideas for turning an abandoned railway viaduct in Hammersmith into an inspirational public space.

Dozens of expressions of interest - some from architects based overseas - have been submitted for creating the Highline on a 200m elevated brick structure which a century ago carried tube trains to a long-gone station in Hammersmith Grove.

In the days after the project was announced, nearly 200 people registered their interest. The deadline for entries is the last day of May, with the winners due to be announced on 7 June after judging by an independent panel appointed by the organisers, Hammersmith BID and architect group West London Link.

“The reaction has been extraordinary,” said Cllr Wesley Harcourt, H&F Cabinet Member for the Environment. “We knew this was a unique opportunity to design something of merit for future generations to enjoy, but the scale of the response has amazed everyone.”

Panoramic view of the Hammersmith viaduct from a balcony
Organisers of the competition want to improve air quality and biodiversity in the area

Overlooking the abandoned Hammersmith railway viaduct - lots of vegetation growing
The viaduct used to serve a station in Hammersmith Grove over a century ago

Imaginations captured

There are two £5,000 prizes up for grabs in the competition (provided by Kings Mall and Hammersmith BID), one encouraging children to let their imaginations soar. The aim is to create an attraction similar to the High Line elevated park in New York City.

Livia Caruso, the Hammersmith BID business engagement manager, said: “We are delighted the competition has captured the imagination of the public. This is an opportunity to suggest ideas for a community space in the heart of the town centre as well as an attraction to draw people to Hammersmith. We look forward to seeing what ideas emerge.”

The site sits between existing railway lines running parallel to King Street, with entry to the Hammersmith Highline likely to be via the Kings Mall retail complex. One aim of the project is to improve air quality in the area, and improve biodiversity.

Entries to go on display

Expressions of interest have already been received from architects and professionals in the built environment sector, as well as community groups with no previous design experience and international design firms.

Competition entries will go on display at an exhibition in Kings Mall from 22 to 30 June as part of the Hammersmith Summer Festival, and will also be shown digitally on the Big Screen in Lyric Square.

Entries submitted by local schools (with prizes donated by Medidata) will be judged in early June and will also be displayed. There will also be an awards ceremony.

Ariel view of the Hammersmith railway viaduct
The viaduct runs behind Kings Mall for a few hundred metres

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