Construction will start this year on a new look for a central underpass in NoMa: perpetual rain. In the winning proposal to enliven the M Street underpass in NoMa, rain made of light will shower over commuters’ heads as they walk through the space.
The M Street underpass (map) will be fitted with an LED light installation from architects NIO and Thurlow Small Architecture, the first winners of a competition to rehaul NoMa’s dark underpasses. The NoMa Business Improvement District announced the design winner for the underpass on Friday.
As pedestrians walk through the space, the light — transmitted via LED tubes — will “shift,” according to the architects, “like a set of waterfalls that stop above you.” The movement of the light will change throughout the day, slowing down at night and increasing in intensity at various periods during the day.
Charles “Sandy” Wilkes, the chair of the NoMa Parks Foundation, said in a news release that the project aims to make the underpasses a little friendlier.
“The goal is to turn what is now dark and somewhat foreboding into beautiful and inviting spaces,” he said.
The BID has yet to announce the design winners for underpasses at L Street, K Street and Florida Avenue. But nearly 250 teams from 14 countries entered the competition. The other finalists, listed here, are still being considered for the three other underpasses.
This article originally published at https://dc.urbanturf.com/articles/blog/noma_bid_selects_rainstorm_installation_for_M_street_underpass/9781.
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