Underneath Delancey Street on New York City's Lower
East Side, a group of civic pioneers are transforming the decommissioned Williamsburg Bridge Trolley Terminal
into the world's first subterranean park, the Lowline. As an architectural lighting consultant for the global design and engineering powerhouse Arup, Star Davis is focusing on strategies to light the unique underground space. Working in collaboration with the architects of Raad Studio and manufacturer Sunportal, MFA Lighting Design alumna Davis employs active solar redirecting equipment to channel surface daylight to the park below.
Although planning is still underway, the group launched the Lowline Lab, an
open laboratory and technical exhibition, in an abandoned market space two blocks from the proposed Lowline site. The centerpiece of the exhibition was a 35-foot-wide canopy — shown above — that redistributes daylight into the landscaped space. Accompanied by a program of public events and
talks organized by the Lowline nonprofit organization, the installation was designed to engage the local community and demonstrate how innovative solar collection technologies
can sustain plants and reinvent the long-disused space. The Lowline Lab saw more than 100,000 visitors during its
run, which ended in February 2017.
"Light shapes human perception and, in the Lowline project, nourishes both plants and the public's desire for innovative, adaptive reuse of space," says Davis.