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New York's underground park – The Lowline – inches closer to reality with launch of testbed the Lowline Lab

The New York architects working to create the Lowline – the world's first underground park – have launched a scaled down version of the project as a test bed.

The Lowline Lab, launched this week by RAAD Studio, will act as a research laboratory, enabling the team to explore which plants grow in the darkened conditions. The experiment has been funded through the Kickstarter crowd funding platform.

When complete, the Lowline will be ten times bigger than the lab, and will introduce cutting-edge solar technology and design into underground tunnels which were originally used as a trolley terminal.

RAAD Studio intend the Lowline to become a "cultural attraction in one of the world’s most dense, exciting urban environments." The technically challenging concept would act as a counterpoint to New York's High Line scheme, which has seen an elevated urban park created on a disused railway line.

The architect behind the innovative idea, James Ramsey, said: “The Lowline Lab offers a glimpse into a pioneering use of solar technology, which may help us fundamentally re-think the ways in which we can reclaim abandoned urban spaces. It is also home to cutting edge landscape design research – essentially ushering in a new way to study subterranean gardening. It will help us discover the ways in which a year-round, four-season public space can be used by city dwellers everywhere.”

If completed, the Lowline would see light reflectors placed on surrounding buildings and rooftops to channel sunlight into the park. They would direct the sun's rays to an above-ground solar collector, which would then funnel the light downward through fibre-optic cables. The cables would be linked to dome-shape panels that would beam the natural light throughout the park.

The Lowline team says the technology would support photosynthesis, enabling plants and trees to grow. Artificial light would illuminate the park when sunlight is not available.

To celebrate the launch of the Lowline Lab, RAAD held a fundraising ‘Anti-Gala’ on 21 October. Hundreds of supporters attended, alongside celebrities including actor Rose McGowan, director Spike Jonze and Treehugger founder Graham Hill.

Related stories
30 Jun 2015

Raad Studio-designed Lowline project to create ‘world’s first underground park’ in New York

The New York architects working to create the Lowline – the world's first underground park – have launched a scaled down version of the project as a test bed. The Lowline Lab, launched this week by RAAD Studio, will act as a research laboratory, enabling the team to explore which plants grow in the darkened conditions. The experiment has been funded through the Kickstarter crowd funding platform. When complete, the
RAAD studio has been working to bring the Lowline to reality for many years / RAAD Studio
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Curry Spa Consulting has been providing clients in the high-end and luxury hospitality sector with spa design, programming, guidance and oversight since 2011.
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