Cities contain miles and miles of elevated infrastructure: bridges, elevated train tracks, swooping highway ramps. They support thousands of commuters, tourists, and others traveling through the city. Beneath them stretch miles and miles of urban underpasses that are empty, dangerous, and virtually unusable.
The best ways to clean up and make use of these spaces is an issue urban planners and architects in cities worldwide have sought to address, with efforts that include making underpasses well-lit and building parks in the unused space. They might take note of the work of self-taught furniture designer Fernando Abellanas, who has transformed the underside of a bridge in Valencia, Spain, into an ingenious, pop-up workspace. Abellanas’s design is half floating studio, half horizontal elevator: One part is a metal and plywood box that moves across the underside of the bridge on wheels. When it gets to the far side, a shelf, chair, and desk bolted into the wall fit into the structure to complete the studio.