ADVERTISEMENT

Tunnel Vision: Subterranean Park to Stay Sunny with Fiber-Optic Skylights [Slide Show]

The proposed "Lowline" in New York City would transform an abandoned belowground trolley depot into a recreational public space complete with lush flora

1 of 6

LOWLINE TOMORROW?:

An artist's rendering of what the Lowline might look like if the project wins approval from the city and the New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority, which owns the trolley depot.....[ More ]

LOWLINE TODAY:

Lowline organizers are pitching the park as a space covering more than 5,500 square meters with a five-meter-high ceiling. The park, which would feature art exhibits and food vendors alongside the subterraneous photosynthesis, would inhabit the former Williamsburg Trolley Terminal, which opened in 1903 as a depot for streetcars ferrying passengers between Brooklyn's Williamsburg neighborhood and Manhattan's Lower East Side.....[ More ]

REMOTE SKYLIGHT:

The remote skylight to be installed in the actual Lowline space would use a reflective, parabolic solar collection dish outdoors to gather and concentrate sunlight. Fiber-optic cable would transmit captured solar radiation to the park; a series of domelike fixtures will use lenses and reflectors to distribute the light throughout the Lowline.....[ More ]

REFLECTOR SHIELDS:

The Lowline exhibit collects sunlight on the roof and channels the rays directly through a circular array of six tubes (each about 53 centimeters in diameter) into the building. The tubes, each of which contains an arrangement of mirrors and lenses, send sunlight down to three hexagonal reflector shields hanging from the center of the circle.....[ More ]

ALUMINUM CANOPY:

The exhibit—on display September 15–27—features a skylight that delivers the sun's energy from an outdoor solar collector to an indoor canopy for distribution. Living below the aluminum canopy is an impressive array of flora specially chosen for its ability to thrive in low light.....[ More ]

LOWLINE EXHIBIT:

New Yorkers are getting a glimpse this month of what the Lowline park might look like thanks to an exhibit demonstrating technology that channels enough sunlight to subterranean spaces to support plant life.....[ More ]

risk free title graphic

YES! Send me a free issue of Scientific American with no obligation to continue the subscription. If I like it, I will be billed for the one-year subscription.

cover image Subscribe Now
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
Share this Article:
Scientific American Back To School

Back to School Sale!

12 Digital Issues + 4 Years of Archive Access just $19.99

Order Now >

X

Email this Article

X