Competition launched to breathe life into disused Hammersmith railway line

A competition has been launched for ideas that reimagine a disused railway line in Hammersmith, West London.

The judging panel, which includes members of local architect group West London Link and Hammersmith BID, is looking for both original ideas ‘without limits’ that could put the line back into public use and become a special attraction for Hammersmith.

Two sets of £5000 prize money are available to encourage a variety of ideas, including those that might be considered out of the box or even undeliverable.

The competition draws inspiration from New York’s famous Highline, which was an idea formed in 1999 by non-profit organisation Friend of the High Line. They campaigned for its preservation and reuse as public open space, and in 2009, the 2.3km walkway finally opened.

It’s been a massive success, and it’s estimated it attracts five million visitors a year annually.

The Hammersmith Highline Competition is open to all members of the public and a background in design or built environment professions is not essential. There will also be a separate competition with entries from local primary schools.

Last year, New Start spoke to James Whiteley of the Holbeck Highline Group, who have similar ambitions for a disused railway line near to Leeds City Centre.

In 2017 the group produced an ambitious pre-feasibility report which brainstormed potential uses for the space, including abseiling, community gardens, falconry displays and a BMX park, amongst other ideas. The disused railtrack also travels to Leeds United’s Elland Road stadium, and the group believes they could provide a safe walkway for fans on matchdays.

‘There’s a desire to double the size of the city centre and to develop the South Bank, so there’s a unique opportunity for the viaduct to be part of that. For a neglected asset to be in an area that’s widely developed could be a missed opportunity,’ he said.

Thomas Barrett
Senior journalist - NewStart Follow him on Twitter


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