In October 2015, the Lowline Lab opened to the public in the former Essex Street Market site. The Lab acts as a proof of concept for the Lowline, the world's first underground park, set to open within the next five years.
Transporting daylight into the depths of a historic trolley station, the Lowline will bring an entirely new typology of public space to the Lower East Side. There is no natural space in the city that shares the endemic characteristics of the Lowline site--dark, below ground, and frost-free. The Lowline Lab preliminarily tests plant tolerance in analogous conditions and experiments with constructed topography to create a fresh visual experience that pairs edible plants with semi-tropical ones. Working with the Lowline team, MNLA is searching for an optimal blend of plants and programming there to provide the neighborhood a glimpse of the new park to come. The completed site will be both an archeological relic and a futuristic realm, benefitting the dense urban surrounds of Manhattan.
The Lowline Lab is a proof of concept for the Lowline—an innovative underground park that will transport daylight into the depths of an historic trolley station.