New York, New York, United States
The High Line – Moynihan Train Hall Connector is the latest chapter in the decade-long evolution of Midtown West in New York City. Between Moynihan Train Hall, Manhattan West, and Hudson Yards, the neighborhood has emerged as a new mixed-use destination knit together by a series of civic spaces that will now be connected to the High Line—one of the most important public spaces and pedestrian paths in Manhattan.
The project will form the final link in a chain of pathways running west from Penn Station to Hudson Yards and south along the 1.45-mile High Line to the West Village. The seamless, fully accessible Connector will serve as a 1,200-foot-long linear park that provides a dedicated pedestrian space away from the heavily trafficked area near the entrance to the Lincoln Tunnel.
Designed jointly by SOM and James Corner Field Operations, and led by the Friends of the High Line, Empire State Development and Brookfield Properties, the Connector centers around a pair of 600-foot-long bridges running above Dyer Avenue and West 30th Street. Upon exiting Moynihan Train Hall, visitors and commuters will cross Ninth Avenue and enter Manhattan West’s 2.6-acre public plaza. On the south side of Manhattan West at West 31st Street, where the public space rises a full floor above the road and culminates at Magnolia Court, pedestrians will enter the enclosed Timber Bridge, which will run the length of Dyer Avenue. They will then turn 90 degrees to enter the tree-lined Woodland Bridge along 30th Street, which will lead directly to the Spur of the High Line.
The Timber Bridge, a warren truss made of sustainably sourced glulam wood, will offer an inviting space protected from the traffic emerging from the Lincoln Tunnel. This structural solution requires minimal connections to the ground, allowing the existing roads to remain undisturbed and maximizing the use of renewable materials. The Woodland Bridge, a diagonal path linked with trees, will introduce the immersive landscaping of the High Line. Its extensive plantings will be enabled by a 5-foot-deep concrete container filled with soil. This container will in turn rest on steel columns separated by wide spans at street level.
The two bridges are aesthetically united by Corten steel decking and bronze handrails, which will guide pedestrians between the structures. The design of the bridges provides direct connectivity between Magnolia Court and the Spur. The landscaping on the Woodland Bridge will be arranged with the shortest trees in the center and the largest trees at the edges, allowing pedestrians to see the timber structure rise over the diagonal pathway, and creating a visual link to the trees from Magnolia Court. This solution establishes a sense of place and guides pedestrians to their destinations on both sides of the Connector.
The Connector is the fourth major SOM project in the neighborhood’s evolution. Between the design of Moynihan Train Hall and 35 Hudson Yards, and both the design and master plan for the 7-million-square-foot, mixed-use Manhattan West, SOM has played an essential role in reimagining a former industrial area into a vibrant destination.