Midtown Manhattan, New York
* The Spine
Project Team: Andreu Estany / Joan Bardy / Paul Greenway
An Extension of the High Line inspired by human anatomy
The Spine, a pedestrian walkway inspired by the foundation of human anatomy, is one of five finalists entries in the Metals in Construction, Urban Pathway competition. The brief was to efficiently link Hudson Yards to the new Moynihan Train Hall through a structural system based on steel. Extending the High Line in concept but not in form, the proposed walkway would integrate recreational areas, wooden decking, sustainable gardens and hanging plants.
Integrated into the design of the structure are periodically cantilevered containers with soil, creating a mosaic of greenery and functional space along the entirety of the pathway. This vision heavily contrasts this part of the city in which vegetation is nearly nonexistent making it an attractive spot for visitors from across the city.
The structure of The Spine, similarly to a skeletal system, is composed of two linearly balanced cantilevering spans and by a “Vertebrae” truss bridge between the two. The spans are further supported by a steel “Rib Structure”.
Steel as the main structural material provides lightness and resistance and also guarantees a reduced maintenance cost of the structure. Furthermore this material will be able to withstand the often aggressive environment around the pedestrian bridge. The hovering bridge manages to avoid any major alterations to the intensive city traffic below: namely the J. Farley US Postal Service loading and unloading area as well as the Go Buses pick up area. In addition, the cantilevered structure acts as visual screen to the aforementioned parking areas for the passer-by and at the same time as a parking roof shelter.