Balmond’s Snow Words Brings New Light To Alaska

National West
(Alex Fradkin)

(Alex Fradkin)

Cecil Balmond, who famously left ARUP to start his own firm, Cecil Balmond Studio, a couple years ago, has a mesmerizing new project. The ethereal light sculpture, dubbed Snow Words, stretches out towards the Alaskan sky and illuminates the lobby of the new Crime Detection Laboratory in Anchorage. Suspended between a glazed skylight and a mirrored floor, the 30-foot-high beacon, which opened last month, seems to float within its laser-cut cylindrical shell. Made of LED-lit rods calibrated to a unique sequence, the installation commemorates the officers who have lost their lives in the line of duty.

Snow Words (Alex Fradkin)

Snow Words (Alex Fradkin)

Snow Words (Alex Fradkin)

Snow Words (Alex Fradkin)

The tower of light features 24 aluminum tubes containing 206 LED strips encased in acrylic and spaced according to patterns which “draw inspiration from prime numbers.” Each tube is programmed independently allowing for infinite variety as the lights gently pulsate from a bright white to a faded glow.

Balmond has been busy—and exhibiting his adventurous, artistic side—since leaving Arup. Some other new work includes Arcelormittal Orbit (2012), the wondrous pavilion with Anish Kapoor for the London Olympics; and Star of Caledonia sculpture in Scotland (2011). More images of Balmond’s new work below.

Star of Caledonia Sculpture (2011, Cecil Balmond Studio)

Star of Caledonia Sculpture (2011, Cecil Balmond Studio)

Orbit, by Cecil Balmond and Anish Kapoor (2012, Cecil Balmond Studio)

Orbit, by Cecil Balmond and Anish Kapoor (2012, Cecil Balmond Studio)

Analemma (2012, Cecil Balmond Studio)

Analemma (2012, Cecil Balmond Studio)

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