L Street Underpass

In June 2015, the NoMa Parks Foundation announced that Future Cities Lab was selected to create the design for the L Street Underpass. Future Cities Lab has created an undulating light structure, Lightweave, that will appear to float from the ceiling of the underpass. The installation will “peek out” onto L Street beyond the underpass and beckon visitors to explore and linger in the beautifully transformed space. M.C. Dean, nation’s premier electrical design-build and systems integration firm for complex, mission-critical installations, is serving as contractor, and construction is expected to begin in November 2018.

Future Cities Lab, based in San Francisco, is a prominent design studio, workshop, and architectural think tank that explores the intersection of art and design with advanced fabrication techniques, robotics, responsive building systems and public space. Other interactive installations by them include Murmur Wall and Lightswarm, at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco. Lightweave will translate sounds from trains passing overhead and sounds from within the underpass into dynamic auroras of patterned light and will animate the underpass with variable intensities of illumination while creating a meditative and interactive experience. Similar to dropping a single pebble into an undisturbed pond, waves of light will slowly oscillate through the space. Multiple sounds will create dynamic visual overlaps. The quality and placement of lighting elements will dramatically improve the experience of the underpass for pedestrians and bicyclists, but will not interfere with or distract vehicular traffic.


Construction work will began in December 2018. Anticipated completion: spring 2019.

In the News

Read more news stories about the L Street underpass art park.