Search results for "situ studio"

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Turntable Lab

SITU Studio crafts a uniquely flexible display system for a New York City vinyl record and audiophile store

Despite the recent resurgence in vinyl record sales, brick-and-mortar music retail remains a challenging business. New York City’s Turntable Lab—which sells vinyl, high-end audiophile equipment, and merchandise, catering to professional DJs and casual listeners alike—had successfully graduated from its small starting location near the Cooper Union to a larger, 1,200-square-foot space nearby. But Turntable’s owners knew their store needed to be nimble to survive. “Products always change…how you display things, where you might need to move things around. Maximum flexibility was what we were shooting for,” said Turntable Lab partner David Azzoni. The new store required that adaptability, but the owners didn’t want to lose the gritty basement feel of the old location.

They turned to Brooklyn-based interdisciplinary firm SITU Studio; the two teams had already collaborated to design a no-frills, flat-pack turntable stand that was successfully Kickstarted. Aleksey Lukyanov-Cherny, partner at SITU Studio, said the firm looked to DIY sources for inspiration for the store. “The brilliant detail: It’s a cleat. It’s actually something very straightforward, something your DIY handyman at home will build in his garage for tools,” he explained. The cleats run throughout the space, supporting around 10 different sets of brackets, hooks, and rails, all of which hold stands, shelves, and display inserts.

This system allows for extreme flexibility, but SITU Studio had to work hard to refine the cleat, ensuring that the racks would be secure without requiring tools or extensive force to change them around. Turntable Lab also visited SITU Studio’s workshop throughout the design process, bringing samples of products, to measure what dimensions and displays worked best. “We spent a lot of time just drawing and cutting these things out, playing with just the round-overs, the radiuses…there was a lot of massaging radiuses,” Lukyanov-Cherny recalled. One major decision was to cut out the center of the display brackets, thereby keeping the cases visually open. “It just flows,” said Azzoni.

SITU Studio selected clear finished and untreated Baltic birch plywood for the entire system, with high-pressure laminate for its heavily used surfaces. The plywood—CNC-milled into shape—retains the old shop’s raw, utilitarian feel but balances it with clean lines. And Turntable Lab’s owners couldn’t be happier with the result. Armed with a basic set of display units, they can easily swap out products and how they’re displayed. In the back of the store, each vinyl storage/display unit rolls on wheels and can be moved to make space for events.

Parked among the vinyl records and T-shirts is the old store’s timeworn turntable stand, still used by DJs for in-store concerts. Its plywood has weathered darkly with use, and it sharply contrasts with the fresh plywood around it. But it won’t be the only aged one for long.

“These things can take a beating; you don’t want to refine things that people will be touching. You want to think about materiality and how it ages over time,” Lukyanov-Cherny said. “Eventually,” he added, gesturing from the new plywood displays to the old turntable stand, “they’re all gonna look like this!”

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Yard Work

Explore SITU Studio’s new gallery at the Brooklyn Navy Yard
Brooklyn-based SITU Studio has designed a new exhibition space acalled “Yard Work” in Building 92 of the Brooklyn Navy Yards (BNY). The tenant population at BNY is rapidly expanding—the industrial park reports that $700 million in new developments are currently underway, including investments in public food services and green manufacturing, which it estimates will expand overall on-site employment to 16,000 jobs by 2020. This exhibition space aims to capitalize on this diversification of the BYY's industries by displaying items from their many production lines. “As we grow, we want to create space for people to connect and collaborate, while providing more amenities for Yard employees and the public,” said Brooklyn Navy Yard Development Corporation President and CEO David Ehrenberg in a statement. Though the space was designed by SITU, a tenant of the BNY since 2013, other companies participated in the curation of this inaugural exhibition titled Wood Works; those companies include furniture designer, Asher Israelow; engineering and design firm, Rock Paper Robot; and career training non-profit, Refoundry. The exhibit, aptly named, displays a range of wood products developed with both new technologies and handcrafted design techniques. The gallery uses a system of custom pegboards that can “easily reconfigure to host new exhibits and a range of objects, artifacts, and art.” The pegboards are made of unfinished MDF panels that will produce a patina over time and “reflect the industrial and ever-changing nature of the Yard itself.” This project is the most recent iteration of SITU’s interest in flexible design and adaptable infrastructure which the studio has previously utilized in various workspaces, cultural institutions, and at the urban scale. The gallery and cafe are open 7 a.m. tp 7 p.m., seven days per week. The cafe will be operated by Brooklyn Roasting Company, a tenant of the BNY, and will for the first time serve beer and wine at their evening happy hour. SITU, the Brooklyn Roasting Company, and BNY collaborated on the design of the cafe.
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Wax On Wax Off

SITU Studio crafts unique, textural concrete panels for One John Street in Brooklyn Bridge Park

From the glass-encased lobby of One John Street, residents will be able to take in some incredible views: The 12-story, 42-unit condominium is located on the eastern end of Brooklyn Bridge Park, and the Manhattan Bridge soars over the East River just a stone’s throw away. In fact, Alloy, the building’s architects and co-developers with Monadnock Development, scaled up the windows and the floors to combat the increased noise pollution and solar exposure. But Alloy wanted more than just a glass box on the East River, so it tapped Brooklyn-based SITU Studio. “They came to us to create these sculptural panels that wrap around the structural core of the building,” said SITU Studio partner Wes Rozen.

SITU Studio, the firm behind the new Brooklyn Museum entrance, the NYSCI Design Lab, and the Heartwalk in Times Square, has a heavy emphasis on fabrication and material experimentation in their practice. For this project, the creative process began with a building being torn down: The Tod Williams and Billie Tsien–designed American Folk Art Museum. “We [SITU and Alloy] both were sad to see [the museum] go,” said Rozen. “So that was an inspiration for what we were trying to achieve, just in terms of the texture in the concrete. From there, we began by looking at various things we could cast to get texture: different types of plastics, fabrics, things that we could put underneath or on top of the fabric, to create different patterns and textures. We wanted something organic.”

SITU Studio undertook several months of experimentation in a rented space in the Brooklyn Navy Yard (its other fabrication spaces were at capacity). Early on, the firm challenged itself to create panels where the artists’ hands weren’t too visible: “We wanted a texture that seemed like it could’ve been just found in nature,” said Rosen. “We wanted to author the process, but the materials themselves would be given the freedom to do what they wanted.” Eric Weil of Oso Industries, a Brooklyn-based studio whose specialties include concrete installations, consulted and assisted during the fabrication process.

The team found their wabi sabi sweet spot with a mixture of salt and beeswax. For each panel, SITU Studio stretched acetate over a sheet of crumpled paper on a table; this surface created a gently irregular topography to cast against. After encasing the acetate on four sides with a one-inch-deep casting formwork, they poured pools of melted beeswax on the acetate, along with pellets of beeswax and salt granules to achieve a fine texture. SITU Studio then poured on concrete (colored with black pigment) that was further reinforced by mixed in loose fiberglass, and a carbon-fiber mesh overlay.

Once dried for three days, the panels were heated inside a custom-made oven that could angle upward. “The reason why the oven lifts is so that, as the wax is heated and melts out of the panels, it stains these vertical lines, little drip lines, into the concrete, which is something we were excited about as a subtle feature,” said Rozen. After that, the wax and salt could be easily dissolved or washed out.

The end result looks like it’s been pulled from a blast furnace or a foundry wall: “In the right light, the panels look almost metallic where the concrete has cured against the acetate,” Rosen said. Other parts of the surface are cratered and pockmarked like a lunar surface. In total, 63 panels from 17 to 11.5 feet tall (all two feet wide) stand in the lobby facing John Street and within the stairs around the core. They will also be visible from the street when the building opens this summer.

RESOURCES Concrete Services OSO Industries

General Contracting and Construction Management Monadnock Construction

Structural Engineers De Nardis Engineering, LLC

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Walking Under Sunshine

SITU Studio designs a “Solar Canopy” to popularize rooftop solar systems in urban areas
A recently developed product, the Solar Canopy, may solve many of the problems related to having solar panels on residential urban rooftops, according to a recent press release. The Solar Canopy, a collaboration of Brooklyn-based architecture and design firm SITU Studio and Brooklyn SolarWorks, is a raised platform of solar panels. The project’s development also included Solar One, an advisor, and Laufs Engineering Design (LED), a structural engineering consultant. This approach to incorporating solar panels on rooftops in New York City attempts to resolve concerns such as fire code regulations, rooftop obstructions, and wind and snow loads. The Canopy has a minimum size requirement of 6’ wide x 9’ high, based on requirements set forth by the Department of Buildings (DOB). The product was initially designed for brownstones and row-houses in Brooklyn but can be produced in larger sizes. Aluminum, with its solid-but-lightweight properties, was chosen for the Canopy's frame. “The buildings might not [stand the test of time] but [the Canopy] is built to really last,” stated T.R. Ludwig of Brooklyn SolarWorks in an interview with AN. The Canopy consists of standard components—trusses, beams, and angled columns. A T-extrusion is used to attach the structure securely to the roof. Using a parametric formula, these components can be easily reproduced to yield a customized Canopy, potentially double the size of a rooftop solar system. A video included in a press release, seen below, shows the assembly of the Canopy. The Solar Canopy will hopefully allow homeowners to save considerably in energy costs. Tax credits from the Federal government, the State of New York, and the City of New York can be used to cover 60 to 90 percent of the cost of a rooftop solar system. Ludwig told AN that it is possible for homeowners to take out loans to have the product installed and that affordability is one of the project team’s priorities. Brooklyn SolarWorks has a background in solar finance. So far, ten Solar Canopies have been installed in Brooklyn with several others going through the permitting process. The product will likely be available for commercial use in the fall of 2016.
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SITU Studio
Reorder, The Brooklyn Museum, Brooklyn, NY.
Keith Sirchio

The Architectural League’s 32nd annual Emerging Voices Award brings a focus to creative practices that will influence the future direction of architecture. Each of the eight firms will deliver a lecture this month in Manhattan. The first lecture takes place tonight, Thursday, March 27 at 7:00 p.m. when Estudio Macias Peredo and SITU Studio will present their work.

Situ Studio

Brooklyn,
New York

In 2005, a group of four recent graduates from The Cooper Union set out to start their own fabrication, research, and design practice. Less than nine years after graduation, it is clear the ambitious move paid-off for these classmates-turned-business partners. As SITU, their installations have appeared on the streets of New York and inside some of the city’s great cultural institutions.

The practice currently operates out of a Brooklyn workspace that allows them to design and build in the same place. “That’s not only a kind of practical way of getting things realized, it also allows us the opportunity to investigate ideas through building,” said Brad Samuels, a partner at SITU.

This sense of experimentation is immediately apparent in SITU’s expressive and diverse work. Their installations have an undeniable energy, but they never veer into the realm of impracticality. Their imaginative forms are all the better because they are executed with a refined toolbox and a strict adherence to function.

 
Beaux Arts Ball, New York, NY (left) Design Lab, New York Hall of Science, Queens, NY (right).
John Muggenborg; Patrick Mandeville
 

At the Brooklyn Museum, for example, SITU transformed the Great Hall by wrapping its columns in a white fabric, creating new seating and over-sized, bending canopies. The result resembled a field of white mushrooms, or whirling dervishes caught in motion.

SITU’s most visible work to-date is likely their “Heartwalk” installation, which won the 2013 Times Square Valentine’s Day Heart Competition. The heart-shaped “room within the city” is made entirely of wood salvaged from boardwalks destroyed by Hurricane Sandy. SITU says that Heartwalk “draws inspiration from the collective experience of Hurricane Sandy and the love that binds the city’s citizens together during trying times.”

SITU is currently reimagining the New York Hall of Science’s design lab in the building’s central pavilion. The permanent space will include new hands-on workshops and an interactive “treehouse.”

Heartwalk, Installation in Times Square, New York, NY.
Courtesy SITU Studio
 

In the coming months, SITU’s work will appear across New York City on the side of a food truck called Snowday. The truck, which boasts a snowflake made of reclaimed wood, is part of Drive Change, an organization that provides job opportunities in the food truck industry to the previously incarcerated.

The relatively young firm only plans to build on their impressive portfolio this coming year. As Snowday hits the streets and the new exhibition spaces open at the New York Hall of Science, SITU will be preparing for two new exhibitions, one in Berlin and one at MOMA.

SITU is planning to work on more permanent projects and has ambitions to design buildings in the near future. But Samuels said the installations that SITU has created thus far are just as much architecture as any new building or large-scale project.

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Situ Studio’s Sweet Food Truck

A social enterprise’s first mobile food entity uses design, mechanics, and hospitality to benefit incarcerated youths.

As the food truck craze continues to gain speed, it was only a matter of time before Brooklyn-based Situ Studio—one of the country’s premier design/build outfits—was tasked with creating a kitchen on wheels. But their opportunity to design and fabricate was not for just another rolling burger joint or mobile ice cream stand. The recently completed Snowday is the first food truck from Drive Change, a social enterprise that trains previously incarcerated youths to operate and manage roving restaurants. Situ Studio and Fabrication’s co-founder and partner Aleksey Lukyanov-Cherny said client Jordyn Lexton, Drive Change’s founder, had a strong vision for the program. Her business model calls for locally sourced ingredient themed menus. Snowday’s ingredient is Grade A maple syrup harvested in upstate New York. To relay the image of a cabin in the woods where one might refine the tree sap, she envisioned a raw, natural facade that was both organic and industrial.
  • Fabricator Situ Fabrication
  • Designers Situ Studio
  • Location Brooklyn, New York
  • Date of Completion December 2013
  • Material reclaimed cedar, reclaimed cedarwood, stainless steel connectors, bolts, 1/4-inch stainless steel, LED lights
  • Process Rhino, Grasshopper, laser cutting, table sawing, planing, sanding, chop sawing
Lukyanov-Cherny said designing a skin for a moving unit—in this case a former Con Edison vehicle—was challenging new territory. “When we started thinking of the project, we thought of a three dimensional, articulated facade,” he said. However, instead of complying with building codes the Situ team learned Transit Authority regulations, and how they could customize the appearance while fitting in the required envelope, in addition to practical matters like height restrictions, wear, and repair issues. In other words, an extended cantilever would not be reasonable for zipping through the Brooklyn Battery Tunnel. The facade also had to accommodate food service needs. The truck’s interior was gutted and retrofitted with an industrial, stainless steel kitchen by Shanghai Mobile Kitchen Solution, and a service component that extends to the truck’s exterior. So in addition to ease of repairs, the modular facade system had to adapt to both punctuated and continuous surfaces. “We wanted a flexible construction system that let you develop the facade for one application or another, that could be transformed for a building, or more architectural structure,” explained Lukyanov-Cherny. Situ Studio used Rhino to design a bespoke snowflake pattern for the truck, which supported Lexton’s brand visualization. The team chose reclaimed lumber as a material, both for its down-home aesthetic as well as its lightness. Planks of redwood and cedar with naturally worn patinas achieved variances in color without any additional treatment and a natural seal. Each plank was planed to 1 inch in thickness, so three layers made up a 3-inch additional depth on either side of the truck. To drive home the branding message, the truck’s name was laser cut from 1/4-inch stainless steel and backlit with LEDs. Each board was applied with stainless steel anchor points. Though it was not Situ Fabricataion’s first project for a non-profit organization, it was their first food truck and Lukyanov-Cherny said he looks forward to building more mobile units in the future. “We like to work with non profits because they’re open to new ideas, design, and approaches, which is so important to those companies,” he told AN. “A visionary client like this is inspiring to us.”
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Situ Studio’s Valentine’s Day Installation Opens in the Heart of Times Square
Just in time for Valentines Day, today the Times Square Alliance and Design Trust for Public Space officially opened Situ Studio’s Heartwalk, a heart-shaped installation constructed of salvaged boards that once made up the boardwalks in Long Beach, Sea Girt, and Atlantic City, to the public. Heartwalk is the winner of the 5th annual Time Square Valentines Day Design competition, taking its cue, in subject matter and materials, from the “collective experience of Hurricane Sandy and the love that binds people together during trying times,” according to Times Square Alliance. Check out the installation "in the heart of Times Square" through March 8, 2013.
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Situ Studio’s Hurricane Sandy-Salvaged “Heartwalk” Installation Under Construction
Next week, the fifth iteration of the Times Square Alliance's Valentine Heart installation will officially open to the public. Brooklyn-based Situ Studio revealed their installation, Heartwalk, in January, which will be built with salvaged boardwalk boards from from the Hurricane Sandy-stricken Rockaways, Long Beach, Sea Girt, NJ, and Atlantic City. The Situ team has been busy removing hardware from the weathered planks and planing them for a smooth surface. The pre-assembled pieces will be taken to Times Square for assembly, and a ribbon-cutting ceremony will take place on February 12 at 11:00a.m. According to a statement from Situ Studio, "Visitors can enter the installation itself and literally stand in the heart of the world’s greatest city."
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Situ Studio Salvages Hurricane Sandy Debris for Valentine’s Day Installation in Times Square
The fifth annual Times Square Valentine Heart Design has been awarded to Situ Studio. The Brooklyn-based architecture firm presented a design that features "boardwalk boards salvaged during Sandy’s aftermath—from Long Beach, New York; Sea Girt, New Jersey; and Atlantic City, New Jersey. " The project titled Heartwalk is described "as two ribbons of wooden planks that fluidly lift from the ground to form a heart shaped enclosure in the middle of Duffy Square." The competition was cosponsored by Times Square Arts, the public art program of the Times Square Alliance, collaborated with Design Trust for Public Space. The installation opens on Tuesday, February 12, and remain on view until March 8, 2013.
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Situ Studio’s Maker Space
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A new installation at the NY Hall of Science celebrates DIY culture

The recently opened Maker Space at the New York Hall of Science is just what its name implies—a place to make things. The initial installation is by Singer Sewing Company, which donated 18 sewing machines, a garment steamer, finishing iron, and other equipment that will teach children and families the basics of sewing and quilting. Programming will also include workshops about conductive fabrics and soft circuits that can be used in a range of applications. The space is a symbol of work that can come out of fostering a culture of scientific learning through hands-on projects. Designed and fabricated by Brooklyn-based Situ Studio, the Maker Space itself is contained within a plywood 3-pin arch structure based on themes of craft and assembly.
  • Fabricator Situ Fabrication
  • Architect Situ Studio
  • Location New York, New York
  • Status Complete
  • Materials Plywood, fasteners, acrylic, acoustical panels
  • Process Parametric design, iterative modeling, material studies, prototyping, full-scale fabrication
“Situ Studio and the New York Hall of Science share the conviction that the act of making itself can and should become a generative part of both learning and design,” said Situ’s Wes Rozen at the opening. “We are thrilled to be able to work with the New York Hall of Science on Maker Space as it is a project which, in many ways, is the embodiment of these values.” Situ's structure arches over approximately 1,200 square feet within the Hall of Science's Central Pavilion, designed by Wallace Harrison for the 1964 World's Fair. The space includes a system of modular acoustical panels, display cases, and storage units that tie into the structure with a series of threaded perforations. Furniture units can be tucked under the structure if more floor space is needed for group activities. With approximately two months for research and schematic design, one month for design development (including sourcing materials and securing sponsorship of some products), and two months for fabrication and installation, Maker Space was realized in a tight time frame and on a limited budget. Situ’s greatest challenge was to develop the design quickly enough that production and installation could begin even before all of the major details had being resolved. Designing flexibility into the structure gave Situ additional time to develop the project. Maker Space was designed by Situ Studio and built by its sister company, Situ Fabrication. The teams worked fluidly between digital models and mock-ups from the very beginning of the project. Parametric models built in Grasshopper were quickly tested in full-scale mockups at all stages. The design embodies Situ's practice as a whole: With a well-equipped fabrication shop adjacent to its offices, projects are frequently developed through iterative models, material studies, prototypes, and full-scale mock-ups. Design ideas are always tested through physical experimentation at the studio. Maker Space was no exception—at one point, a full-scale arch reached across the office and bolted into a pin-up wall covered in drawings and renderings of the construction. Watch a video of the final installation here: Making Maker Space from Situ Studio on Vimeo. From a programmatic standpoint, the Hall of Science wanted a space that enhanced science learning and collaboration in a workshop environment that did not feel like a classroom. Situ's task was to create a structure that leant itself to a wide range of activities, from individual experiments to larger projects, without duplicating a school setting. To that end, the Maker Space structure is a pegboard that simultaneously supports the electrical, acoustical, storage, and display requirements of the space. It is flexible in case future uses call for reconfiguration. Similarly, the joinery of the interlocking arches is emphasized through the use of simple materials and exposed hardware. Openness and transparency were important aspects of the museum's goal for the design. The structure encourages passive observation by curious visitors, who can glimpse activities from the outside. Practically speaking, storage was another big requirement. The museum had to store and access all of the equipment and materials needed to run workshops inside Maker Space so that the environment could transition efficiently from hosting a bustling group of students to being a clean, quiet creative space. Double-sided units woven through the superstructure function as storage on the interior. Display units on the exterior now showcase work made by visitors within the workshop, which in the future will host sessions on topics ranging from soldering and circuitry to using open-source hardware.
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OTD’s 45 Park Lane Facade Panels: Situ Studio with LuminOre
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Panels constructed with composite metal technology decorate facade of a new London hotel.

The Dorchester Collection’s 45 Park Lane hotel will soon open to guests in London’s Mayfair district following a renovation of the building led by The Office of Thierry Despont. The architect has transformed the building’s exterior with metal fins spanning the width of seven of nine floors, emphasizing the hotel’s curved shape and shielding its guest spaces from sun. All new or highly renovated buildings in the district must include a public artwork component, and Despont considered a series of repoussé copper panels on the hotel’s west side, which faces Hyde Park. Intrigued by Brooklyn-based Situ Studio’s digital modeling capabilities, he asked the firm to develop a gradient overlay for the panels in Photoshop, then translate it into Rhino. But once the design was put out to bid the cost of creating the panels proved prohibitive, so the team went back to the drawing board to explore other options.
  • Fabrication Consultant Situ Studio
  • Fabricator LuminOre
  • Architect The Office of Thierry Despont
  • Location London
  • Status Complete
  • Materials Foam, polyurethane resin hardcoat, LuminOre
  • Process CNC milling, cold-sprayed composite metal coating
Situ began researching alternative materials for the facade panels and came across a California-based company called LuminOre that uses a patented cold-spray technology to apply metal composite to a surface. “We got samples and the architects were excited about this approach,” said Wes Rozen, one of Situ’s partners. “It’s a resin that has metal particles in it, and it becomes what can be defined chemically as metal.” Because the LuminOre application process is cold, the material can be applied to almost any lightweight substrate or core material, from foam and cardboard to concrete, without compromising its shape. The LuminOre composite can be sprayed on using the company’s automated application system or cast into a form. It contains up to 95 percent metal, so the finished product can be sandblasted, acid brushed, or given a hot patina wash like forged metal. The material can withstand 2,364 psi without separating from its substrate, according to the company’s tests. Using the design team’s digital files, LuminOre fabricated a full-scale mockup of one facade panel. Composed of a CNC-milled #2 EPS foam substrate coated in a polyurethane resin hardcoat and finished in LuminOre White Bronze, the piece was sent to London for public hearings about the project and eventually approved. LuminOre fabricated the 24 finished panels at its Carlsbad, CA, headquarters. Though the White Bronze finish naturally resists patina, the panels were coated in a final ceramic clear coat to further slow the aging process. The panels weigh approximately 9 pounds per square foot, significantly less than traditional metal panels. Project engineer WSP Flack + Kurtz approved attachment of the panels’ fiber-reinforced plastic frame to a steel fitting tied back into the building’s main floor slab. First-floor panels are almost 10 feet tall, while those on the balconies above are about 6 ½ feet tall. Each panel row consists of two 5-foot-wide panels on either side of a nearly 9-foot-wide center panel. When the hotel opens in September, the metal sculpture will augment Despont’s theme of geometry and light throughout the building. For Situ, a newfound understanding of LuminOre’s capabilities will likely influence future projects. “With CNC technology being able to produce all sorts of articulated surfaces, having this available for outdoor finishes opens up our thinking about surface treatments,” said Rozen.