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Underground Mushroom Tunnel Concept Wins London Design Competition

London mushroom tunnel

After seeing the success of New York City’s High Line park – a spruced-up garden area along a defunct downtown raised railroad – the Mayor of London has decided the open spaces of London’s downtown areas could use a little boost as well.

The mayor teamed up with The Landscape Institute and the Garden Museum to launch a Green Infrastructure Ideas Competition, asking designers to re-imagine underused or defunct areas as green public spaces. The winning concept of this competition is called “Pop Down,” an underground mushroom farm designed by Fletcher Priest. It is designed to be planted in underground tunnels previously used by postal workers.

The Pop Down mushroom farm, which would be lit by fiber-optics in addition to sunlight, could provide a great way for city dwellers to escape the hot summer heat while producing something edible. Sunlight would filter into the mail rail through sculptural glass mushrooms at street level.

The competition was judged by a panel of experts that included the founders of NYC’s High Line. The Pop Down mushroom farm won out of more than 170 entries, and the runner-up award went to Y/N Studio’s Lido Line, which would transform the Regent’s Canal into an outdoor lap pool stretching from Little Venice to Limehouse.

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