The High Line - Reclaimed Teak Decking & Benches

Reclaimed park benches in NYC

Project: The High Line                                                                                                                                                   Slideshow >

Location: New York

Design: Diller, Scofidio + Renfro architects and James Corner Field Operations, landscape architects

Client: Friends of the High Line and the City of New York

Product: Reclaimed Teak Bench Components & Decking      

TerraMai was thrilled to work on this landmark project for a variety of reasons - the opportunity to be a part of one of the hippest public spaces in the world; the chance to work with top pros, committed community volunteers and the City of New York; and the opportunity to set a game-changing precedent by replacing rain-forest pillaged ipe with sustainably sourced reclaimed teak on one of the most influential municipal projects on the planet. 

All of these elements came together beautifully on this project, which highlights TerraMai's ability to do custom work and meet technical specifications of the highest level.                                                                                                                                          

The High Line was originally constructed in 1930 as part of a large public-private infrastructure project called the West Side Improvement. The project lifted train traffic in this then-heavily industrial area 30 feet above street level. This enabled rail, vehicle and foot traffic to all flow more efficiently and safely. As Manhattan's lower West Side transitioned from primarily industrial to more commercial and residential uses, the need for this elevated train traffic declined. The last train to run on the line came to a permanent stop in 1980.

When the High Line was targeted for demolition in 1999, community activists mobilized to form Friends of the High Line, a non-profit organization committed to saving and preserving the structure. The group gained official support from the City of New York in 2002 and the two entities have since worked in partnership to preserve, maintain and improve the High Line as a public park.

Critical to this effort has been the design team of landscape architects James Corner Field Operations in collaboration with architects Diller, Scofidio + Renfro. These firms, with input from community supporters, have transformed the structure into one of the most unique and influential public parks in the world.

TerraMai is honored and proud to be a part of this seminal project. TerraMai's reclaimed teak bench components and decking material can be seen throughout Section 2 of the High Line, from West 20th Street to West 30th Street.

Both the City of New York and the Friends of the High Line gave up the use of FSC ipe in favor of reclaimed teak for Phase II of the project. This decision came in the wake of protests and a slew of bad press in reaction to the use of FSC ipe in Phase I of the works. This outcome is yet another example of the move away from new rainforest-cut wood for environmentally responsible projects throughout the U.S.

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