The last train ran along New York’s High Line in 1980 and it fell into disuse. In 2002 the city began plans for reuse and conservation and a competition was run, calling for submissions to redesign it as a public space to be experienced and enjoyed by the inhabitants of New York City.
With the first stage opened to the public in 2009, it continues to grow and inspire garden design the world over.
It makes sense then, that the House Rules teams are now competing to bring Brooklyn to the ‘burbs in the backyard of Adelaide couple Jess and Jared with the makeover of their outdoor spaces.
As the original railway always ran through an industrial district it bears the hallmark materials of a working life – heavy steel and metals, oversized machinery and large scale, weathered railway timbers abound and have been adapted to the new shared environment.
Take a tour of these gardens that embody the same aesthetic with similar concepts.
Timber-lined covered walkways are raised off the ground to provide wayfinding around outdoor space and leave garden beds undisturbed.
Heavy-duty steel is used here to create a pergola, softened with a woven hammock.
An obligatory feature in a public space, water spilling from one level to another in a garden links the spaces and provides a tranquil ambience.
Adapting features of the garden to suit materials recycled from another life is one of the primary successes of the Highline design. Wooden palettes, packing crates and railway sleepers are all prime candidates for reuse and repurposing.
In the same way industrial lighting and furnishings are now embraced inside the home, using finishes and materials usually found in public spaces gives a residential garden an industrial edge, such as this gravel beneath a raised deck.
Public spaces call for ample lighting as a matter of necessity and the creative solutions applied in city parks and urban areas can yield some wonderful inspiration for a residential setting. Investment in plenty of lighting for your outdoor space will extend its use year round.
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