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Last week we featured renderings of the LowLine‘s solar canopy, and we must say that it is even more impressive in person! Packed with LED lights, fiber-optic cables, and one-of-a-kind, laser-cut hexagonal panels, the solar dome is a dream-like light source that provides enough light to keep the subterranean flora warm, cozy, and growing. Solar collectors above ground channel light to the canopy, which reaches across almost half of the warehouse space. The structure mimics the sky while providing enough light to allow photosynthesis to occur within the specially chosen subterranean plants.

The Low Line Exhibit - Architect James Ramsay fiddles with the solar reflectors

Low Line mastermind, architect James Ramsay fiddles with the solar reflecting device in the ceiling

Environmental designer Misty Gonzales told us she carefully chose to curate the space with plants that are used to withstanding darker atmospheres; lilly turf, fungi, moss, and japanese plants are apt to thrive in the tropical canopies of the rainforest.

Sound engineering gurus Alban Bassuet and Anne Guthrie from Arup Engineering complimented the exhibition with an awesome immersive sound art installation that surround guests with the sounds of the city above. Noises like children laughing, cars driving by, and people talking reverberated through the space, bouncing off the solar canopy dome.

The Low Line Exhibit: Audi GSAPP Manhattan Map InstallationGSAPP / Audi interactive light installation showcasing Manhattan’s streets and transportation system

Exhibition partners Audi of America and Columbia University’s Graduate School of Architecture  took over the other half of the warehouse to present an enormous 50-foot-long suspended model of Manhattan’s subway grid. The hanging map is part of their “Experiments in Motion” initiative, which explores transportation alternatives underground. Nine lucky architecture students were selected to present their transportation ideas on television screens that surrounded the Manhattan model.

Walking through the dark warehouse made us even more excited for the LowLine‘s future plans! Be sure to check out the public opening on September 15th!

+ The LowLine

+ LowLine Coverage on Inhabitat