July 9, 2020 Building NYC’s High Line

Patrick Hazari stands atop The High Line, photo by Liz Ligon


Article by Brooks Clark (’16)

Photo by Liz Ligon

Patrick Hazari (’05) was on a traditional pathway as a student in the College of Architecture and Design, completing two internships at top firms and landing a job at another prominent firm. Then his career took an unconventional path, much like the project he would spend years perfecting.

After his design for a 198,000-square-foot multiuse building at Barnard College of Columbia University moved into its construction phase, Hazari took a job as a designer and planning fellow at Friends of the High Line, a nonprofit conservancy that was building a 1.5-mile linear public park on a weed-covered abandoned elevated railroad track in New York City.

Though the position was initially a nine-month appointment, Hazari was attracted to the creative possibilities of the project. “I felt that it was important to look at this opportunity,” he said.

Creativity was nothing new to Hazari. He is the son of UT’s longtime director of undergraduate chemistry labs, Al Hazari, who has long been known as an innovative ambassador for his field of study through his Magic of Chemistry shows.

“The design of the High Line itself is highly unique and nontraditional,” said Hazari. “Throughout the project, design played a key role in shaping it. Design competitions were organized to solicit ideas from around the world.”

Hazari oversaw the completion of Section 1, which opened in 2009, and after the nine-month fellowship turned into a full-time position, he oversaw the design of Section 2, between 20th and 30th Streets, which opened in 2011.

In 2012, as manager of design and capital projects, Hazari led the design and construction of the High Line Maintenance and Operations Headquarters facility. The following year he earned a promotion to director of design and construction in time for the construction of Section 3, which opened in 2014.

“From a design perspective,” said Hazari in his 2017 UT commencement address, “the High Line established a new park typology that rethinks what it means to be a park in an urban setting. From a city planning standpoint, a once industrial area was transformed into a vibrant space.”

The High Line draws more than eight million visitors a year. Hazari is now leading the design of a street-level plaza at 18th Street that will feature a new stair and elevator to the High Line that will break ground in 2020.

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