Lowline exhibit highlights new solar technology in Manhattan
A full-scale model of a proposed project that would transform an abandoned train station in Manhattan, into a subterranean park using solar technology to channel sunlight for trees and other plants to grow.
“You are actually having sun way below the surface of the earth,” said project engineer Edward Jacobs at the preview Wednesday. “You can easily route a bundle of cable anywhere, in any direction and at any depth. … Once the cable is laid out, you could actually grow vegetables underground and have a separate layer in the city of underground sanctuaries.”
In putting together the model, the first thing the Lowline team did was black out all the skylights to simulate the underground space. From there, they installed a custom set of devices that gathers sunlight and tracks the movement of the sun. The collected sunlight is then projected into a canopy onto a set of reflectors, resulting in a close approximation of natural light.
In establishing the space’s greenery, horticulturalist Misty Gonzaliez chose plants native to Asia, including a Japanese maple, mood moss and mushrooms, creating a “micro environment”.