The High Line

The High Line was built in the 1930s to eliminate dangerous street-level railroad crossings. Since the last train ran on the Highline in 1980, an opportunistic landscape of early successional species has begun to grow. The High Line is now recognized as an important and distinctive asset to the city. Inspired by the melancholic, “found” beauty of the High Line, the design team aims to re-fit this industrial conveyance into a post-industrial instrument of leisure. The singular linear experience of the new High Line landscape is marked by slowness, distraction and an other-worldliness that preserves the strange, wild character of the High Line.


The overall lighting strategy is a consistent low-level plane of light along the perimeter, lifting and floating the High Line above the city below. This soft light marks the edge and silhouettes the High Line for viewers from the street, while creating a unique night walk experience along the highline itself. All light sources were kept at or below eye level, thereby avoiding any glare or obstruction of the night sky and the vistas all around, and keeping the High Line safe, visible, and unobtrusive at night.


Opening of Section 1 (2009), Section 2 (2011), Section 3 (2014), Section 4 (2018).

Location New York, New York, USA
Date Completed 2014
Architect Diller, Scofidio + Renfro
Landscape Architect James Corner Field Operations
Planting Design Piet Oudolf
Client Friends of the Highline
Type Exterior + Landscapes
size17,000,000 ft2 / 1,600,000 m2
Status Built
Awards New York City Public Design Commission Award of Excellence , 2017
Press Building Design Construction, Apr 2013
Inc Magazine, Oct 2011
New York Daily News, Oct 2010
Architectural Lighting, Dec 2009
Interior Design, Sep 2009
Time Out New York, Jun 2009
Professional Lighting Design, Jan 2009
Architectural Record, Aug 2016
Photo Credits Halkin Mason Photography, Iwan Baan, Studio Dubuisson, Eric Laignel