Following its previous work on Manhattan West, 35 Hudson Yards, and the adaptive reuse of the Farley Building into Moynihan Train Hall, SOM continues to put its stamp on Midtown West. The next phase of the firm’s latest intervention in the Manhattan neighborhood has begun, with the now under construction High Line Moynihan Connector. The Connector will serve as a bridge linking each of the aforementioned areas and will offer an easier pedestrian route above the street level.
SOM worked alongside landscape studio James Corner Field Operations—an original member of the High Line design team—to realize the two continuous bridges that encompass a 600-foot linear park that extends out of Manhattan West’s public Plaza and down Dyer Avenue before turning along 30th Street to reach the Spur of the High Line. The project was also headed by Friends of the High Line, Empire State Development, and Brookfield Properties.
The Woodland Bridge follows 30th Street and culminates where it meets the High Line. While the second bridge, the Timber Bridge, connects to Manhattan West along Dyer Avenue. The two bridges that form the Connector, however continuous, are stylistically different. While both feature Corten steel decking and bronze handrails, the Woodland Bridge comprises large concrete basins filled with vegetation and its neighbor is formed by a wood truss construction.
The Woodland Bridge’s link is not just a physical one, the walkway visually connects with the elevated park space through landscaping elements. The 5-foot-deep precast concrete containers filled with soil and greenery create a visual connection to Manhattan West’s Magnolia Court through a set of trees. These trees have been arranged by height so that the Timber Bridge—and Magnolia Court—can be seen beyond them.
The Woodland Bridge consists of a 260-foot glulam Warren truss made from Alaskan yellow cedar wood. While its stature began to rise in April, the Timber Bridge was recently craned into place 25 feet above Dyer Avenue. Due to the truss design, the Woodland Bridge is able to span a larger distance with as few interruptions to the street below as possible, while still maximizing the use of the sustainably sourced material. The minimal structural design is focused on creating a welcoming space for pedestrians to pass through while protecting them from the emerging traffic of the Lincoln Tunnel.
The High Line Moynihan Connector is expected to complete its construction this summer and open to the public in late June.