The Lowline, is still in the planning stages but Manhattan’s Lowline Lab has opened as a technology and landscape lab in the 5,000 square-foot former Essex Street Market. WorldStage provided all of the auxiliary lighting for the Lowline Lab and helped develop the in-line solar lighting that illuminates the space when there is no sunlight.
“WorldStage was an integral partner in the building of the Lowline Lab. They helped us work through the technological approach to our auxiliary lighting systems. Although The Lowline Lab is lit with natural sunlight during daylight hours, it was key to have the right electrical lighting solution for cloudy and nighttime conditions,” says Robyn Shapiro, Deputy Director of the Lowline.
The Lowline’s proposed location is a historic trolley terminal unused for six decades. The world’s first underground park would reclaim the space – with vaulted ceilings, crisscrossing rail tracks and cobblestones – and provide a beautiful respite in one of the least green areas of Manhattan.
The Lowline Lab gives New Yorkers a glimpse of the future subterranean park. The space displays cutting-edge solar technology and serves as a laboratory for lighting and horticultural experiments. During the week, the Lowline Lab is devoted to the Young Designers Program, a free STEAM-based educational program serving K – 12 students city-wide .. On weekends the public can explore the goals of the Lowline and the science behind making it work.
For example, overhead tubes with mirrors and lenses bring sunlight from the roof to the interior of the lab. But what happens after in the The Lowline Lab?
“We devised a way to emulate sunlight at night,” says Shelly Sabel, WorldStage Director of Design. “We picked lamps whose color temperature simulates daylight and created mock solar tubes to contain the lights and make them brighter. Masking the fixtures in this way improves their output tenfold.”
WorldStage selected Source 4 PowerPAR 575W MSR fixtures for this top light system. “We wanted lights that offered the most bang for the buck,” Sabel says. “These are studio lights, which create daylight and have consistent color rendering. And the fact that they are only 575 watts is pretty impressive.”
“We brought one in and everyone was surprised by how close to sunlight it looked. We went back and forth about how to use the single-source fixture and came up with the idea to create a tube so the light from the front of the fixture would go through the tube into a mirror in the canopy of the lab. That would contain the light, control all the spill and intensify the light.” Three of the fixtures are positioned at different angles in the canopy of the space.
WorldStage also provided a large complement of Source 4 PARs, of varying beam sizes, to light the exhibits and plants. Thirty are mounted in the canopy area and 15 are positioned over the displays; some are located in corners at a lower level to give a theatrical look and feel to the environment.
“We were happy to combine our extensive event knowledge base and our technological expertise to help the Lowline Lab create a dynamic public space,” says Sabel.
WorldStage Inc., the company created by the merger of Scharff Weisberg Inc and Video Applications Inc, continues a thirty-year legacy of providing clients the widest variety of entertainment technology coupled with conscientious and imaginative engineering services. WorldStage provides audio, video and lighting equipment and services to the event, theatrical, broadcast and brand experience markets nationally and internationally