The Lowline Lab
Manhattan's West Side was transformed by the creation of The High Line, an abandoned elevated train track turned public park. It's become one of the ANY Team's favorite destinations in NYC, so when we heard designers James Ramsey and Dan Barasch wanted to follow in the foot steps of The High Line inventors and convert an abandoned underground trolly terminal in the Lower East Side into a public park called The Lowline we were more than stoked.
Immediately you may think: "How does one turn an underground space with no sunlight into a park filled with plants?"
Ramsey has a clever plan to use solar collection dishes placed above ground to collect light that would then travel down through pipes and be reflected and directed via a dome. The redirected sunlight would sustain an environment that would allow plants to conduct photosyntheses.
The Lowline Lab is where this experiment is first being tested. Located in an abandoned marketplace two blocks from the abandoned trolly station, The Lowline team has simulated the conditions of the future site of The Lowline. The space is outfitted with a prototype of the sun directing technology that would be used in the proposed park.
The ANY Team took the trip to see the surreal environment filled with tropical plants and science fictionesque structures. It's not very often one gets to see a pineapple growing in an abandoned building. The public is encouraged to visit the free space (open on Saturdays and Sundays) regularly to see how the changing weather and seasons affect the vegetation. The lab will closing in March so be sure to fill your underground park fix now before it's too late. The Lowline park isn't scheduled to open until the year 2020.