Pop Down

Visitors to Pop Down walking through the former Mail Rail tunnels. Light is brought down from street level via shafts to enable fungi to be farmed.

An aerial view shows the four old central area sorting offices. Access to Pop Down would be via locations 1, 2 and 3, with pop-up café ‘Funghi’ housed at 4.

A map revealing Pop Down’s subterranean route.

A diagram showing how light would be introduced to the tunnels via glass-fibre mushrooms at street level.

Comments

  1. Nicky Manby 27 Nov 2012, 18:05

    Fantastic idea!

  2. Sunil Modi 08 Apr 2015, 23:07

    If they were to charge a SMALL admission fee, perhaps a gift to go with it would be a container of the mushroom's like a pick-your-own (strawberry) farm. As a commercial venture, they could distribute the produce to garner a good reputation - could form spin offs e.g. converting disused LU lines or public toilets?? Tasty either way, especially if they have a diverse range of fungi inc truffles!!

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Pop Down

A subterranean mushroom farm and public experience in the West End

Winner

Pop Down proposes reinventing the disused tunnels of The Post Office Railway (or Mail Rail), which run for 10.5 miles and passes under Oxford Street, as a public experience and urban mushroom farm.

London’s history of hidden tunnels and lost rivers provide the inspiration for an idea that capitalises on the same sense of drama that New York City’s High Line creates by being ‘in between’ the fabric of the city.

Visitors to Pop Down would enter and exit via three of the old central area sorting offices. Daylight is introduced to the tunnels by shafts that appear at street level as sculpted glass-fibre mushrooms.

This would be an underground oasis for mosses, lichen and funghi, where the mycelium and basidiomycete are king, says the team. The fungi grown in the tunnels would be served at new pop-up café ‘Funghi’, which would be located inside the redundant Western Central District sorting office on New Oxford Street.

Category

Transport

Location

Westminster

Below Oxford Street

Submitted by

Fletcher Priest Architects

n.worley@fletcherpriest.com

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