Designing on the down low...

11 Sep 2012

Raad Studio unveils designs to regenerate underground trolley station in New York's Lower East Side

On the busy streets of New York, it's often easy to forget about all of the rich history that surrounds you. Some its our most storied, historical neighbourhoods are frequently ignored by planners and the residents themselves, while some of its most spectacular spaces are literally hidden below your feet.

The Lower East Side was once the most densely populated place in the world, and it served as the first home for nearly all immigrants who came to America.  Despite its cultural heritage, it is an area treated as almost an afterthought for city planners, with some of the least green and public spaces in the country.

The Lowline, designed and created by RAAD, proposes to use cutting edge solar technologies to bring sunlight into an abandoned trolley terminal beneath the Lower East Side and, in doing so, create a public park and cultural institution for the community.

Sunlight is channelled with optics deep into the ground to foster photosynthesis and to illuminate a historic space built in 1908.  At once a landmark, a demonstration of solar technology, and a park for a community in desperate need, The Lowline is also a bridge between our collective heritage and our hopes for our future.

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