We’re anxiously awaiting the opening of the LowLine underground park’s life-size scale model next week, but until then, we’re happy checking out a peek at one of the project’s most important (and eye-catching) features — its solar light canopy. If you’ve been wondering how on earth an underground garden walkway is going to stay well-lit and thriving, this innovative canopy of lights is the LowLine’s secret weapon. Packed with LED lights, fiber-optic cables, and one-of-a-kind, laser-cut hexagonal panels, the solar dome will not only illuminate the underground oasis, but also keep its subterranean flora warm, cozy, and growing. Created by brilliant industrial designer Edward Jacobs, the giant underground solar dish will be unlike anything we’ve ever seen.
The LowLine will transform 1.5 acres of underground industrial space into a lush garden pathway as a sort of below-ground counterpart to the beloved High Line in Chelsea. The challenge of lighting the space and caring for the plants has seemingly met its match in lead architect James Ramsey and Edward Jacobs’ amazing light canopy design which uses solar dishes above ground to capture sunlight, channel it down through the fiber optic cables, and spread it through the 600 hexagonal panels spanning the underground ceiling. The panels, laser cut and fabricated by Milgo Bufkin in Brooklyn, are so painstakingly designed that no two are alike. Each one curves and stretches in a specific plan that maximizes sunlight throughout the space.
While surely a dazzling centerpiece, the light canopy can’t do all the work on its own. Other lighting will be provided by sunbeams, circular lighting components that contain GPS systems to follow the direction of the sun. A sensor-based electric design will also kick in on cloudier days to balance and control varying light levels and conserve energy.
via A/N Blog