Located at one of the busiest intersections in Manhattan—and probably the world—the outdated Herald Center has recently been slated for a $50 million facelift by Moed de Armas & Shannon architecture firm. Hailing from the 1980s, the tinted black windows on the first three floors will be replaced with sheer insulated glass, while the façade of the remaining floors is transformed to offer passersby an LED-lit view befitting the luminous Times Square a few blocks north. The Herald Center opened in 1982, before technology allowed the combination of energy efficiency and crystalline sleekness sought after by Moed de Armas & Shannon. The 10-story building will finally now be brought up to code and given a look worthy of the times. New tenants are currently being wooed to the 250,00o square foot space, which currently harbors retail chains like Modell’s, Payless Shoes, and the New York State DMV. Renovations are slated for completion by May 2014.
Posts tagged with "LEDs":
Before there was the Kindle and the Sony Reader, there were paperback novels, newspapers, magazines, made of tangible materials, like paper and ink. One could ride the subway and sneak a glimpse into the mind of his fellow passengers without ever exchanging a word; the title printed on the cover of the book you were reading might reveal volumes about your interests and curiosities. With the invasion of e-books and e-readers, there is just no way to tell what people are reading these days. Designers Brian W. Bush and Yong Ju Lee of E/B Office New York changed that with their Filament Mind installation that debuted in late January at the grand opening of the Teton County Library in Jackson, Wyoming. Filament Mind is a complex and intricately crafted ceiling installation comprised of over 1,000 fiber-optic cables (totaling over 5 miles) and 44 LED illuminators connected to data processing systems in libraries all across the state of Wyoming. The cables, which are categorized according to the Dewey Decimal System, continuously flash different colors according to the specific words and subjects (for example: “landscape architecture” or “computer methods”) that people enter into the library search system. As users click into different categories and explore new content, the cables burst into an array of colors, making for a truly interactive user experience. With this larger-than-life sized installation Brush and Lee have not only created a visually stunning experience but have also presented library visitors with a unique opportunity to communicate with one another, share and exchange ideas, and inspire each other to delve into subjects that might normally be off their radar. Additionally, the artists honor the donors who funded the project by equipping the installation with a “donor mode.” Periodically the cables will burst into a brilliant light show, randomly glowing from green to pink to blue to yellow. The effect of this technologically detailed installation provides library visitors with a seemingly magical light show that has encouraged people from all across the state to make a trip to the library. “It’s the heart of the community, it’s where people come to share their ideas, and to explore new things to enrich their lives,” says artist Brian Brush. [Via Wired.]
Seattle is about to get a new public art installation on the walls of SAM, the Seattle Art Museum. The museum that created the nearby Olympic Sculpture Park—one of the best public art spaces in the country—has commissioned artist Doug Aitken to install a new reflective wall on the corner of their building at First Avenue and Union Street. Aitken calls the wall installation Mirror and it is meant to "reflect the energy and movement of the city." The piece consists of a large LED display wrapping the building's corner facade and up the building's primary wall with scenes slowly filmed by Aitken of "images, surfaces, locations and landscapes." These digital views will then be reduced to minimal compositions and alternate with empty landscapes and dense urban scenes of the Seattle region. Further Aitken has programmed the piece to be "conditioned and programmed by local "weather information, pedestrian traffic flow, atmospheric conditions and traffic density. The digital facade Aitken imagines will be "like choreography with no music" and allows the images to "define the composition and patterns in real time and into the future."
INABA's inverted chandelier comprises a steel frame clad with aluminum tubes and activated by LEDs.Both simple in its geometry and intriguing in its illumination, a massive new lighting installation in Stavanger, Norway, aims to activate the lobby of a concert hall and create a welcoming civic gesture. Designed by New York-based INABA, the cylindrical structure responds to its setting in a variety of ways. Cutaways in the cylinder reveal views out for visitors inside the concert hall and also reveal slices of the dynamic LED lighting inside the structure to people outside the concert hall on the plaza. Jeffrey Inaba, principal of INABA, calls the installation Skylight, and refers to it as an “inverted chandelier.” The light is reflected within the rings, rather than out. The outside is coated in glossy white to reflect the warmer daylight and ambient light in the building. The design of Skylight is meant to function as a recognizable figure for the building, which was designed by Oslo-based Ratio Arkitekter. In order to make the maximum impact given the constraints of a public art budget, Inaba and his team worked closely with the well-known Argentinian fabricator DAMTSA, which fabricated the exterior panels at Neil Denari’s HL23. By keeping the geometry simple—just a cylinder with cutaways—Inaba was able to standardize the curvature of the installation, which simplified the process of rolling the hollow tube steel frame. One-inch-square-profile aluminum tubes clad the exterior of the cylinder, connected to the frame with standardized attachment details. DAMTSA and INABA worked together on several prototypes before ultimately settling on the cladding system. INABA designed Skylight in Rhino and collaborated with Buro Happold on the steel structure. The 22-foot-by-38-foot permanent installation, which weighs 6.5 tons, is suspended from the ceiling by a double pin connection. The angle at which it hangs is determined by the weight of the structure. It aligns with the angle of incidence of the sun, which allows the structure to have the fewest possible shadows throughout the day. The LED lighting scheme, animated by New York–based MTWTF, within the rings changes for intermissions, curtain calls, and when the hall is not in use. INABA decided to use pure white and aqua marine light so as to differentiate the installation from the warmer house illumination and the famed Nordic light. Mezzanines surround Skylight on three sides, giving concertgoers numerous vantage points to view the piece as well as the landscape beyond. For INABA, the piece suggests a way to move forward in their approach to architecture. “We’re interested in how do you take the constraints of costs, construction techniques and turn that into a conceptual framework,” Inaba said. “Skylight is not a piece of architecture, but it shows how we are pursuing architectural practice.”
Beginning on January 22, Pelli Clarke Pelli's glass Winter Garden at Manhattan's World Financial Center will be twinkling with strands of LED lights. Lighting artist and theater designer Anne Militello designed the Light Cycles installation, inspired by the jewel-tone color of lights found in nature such as the Aurora Borealis. LED lights will be attached to strings of mirrored discs hanging from the ten-story barrel-vaulted ceiling. The lights will feature "shifting movements and patterns" programmed by the artist. According to the World Financial Center, "Like charms on a bracelet, the jeweled discs entrance through a softly evolving manipulation of color and texture." The installation runs through March 30, 2013.
On Monday, December 3, the "Jewel of Park Avenue" at 230 Park, aka The Helmsley Building, really began to sparkle as building-owner Monday Properties unveiled a new LED lighting display to a crowd huddled at the base of the building, staring upward with anticipation as rush hour traffic swirled around. Monday Properties President and CEO Anthony Westreich and Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer stood together to push a giant red button, officially triggering the light show, which flickered into action, turning heads of passers by for blocks around as a live violinist provided musical accompaniment. Built in 1929, the 34-story tower stands guard over Park Avenue, terminating the street's vista looking south on the same block as Grand Central Terminal, and is one of the only buildings in Manhattan that you can literally drive through, underneath monumental stone arches. Designed by the same architects as Grand Central—Warren & Wetmore—230 Park was originally the headquarters of the New York Central Railroad Company and features many rail-centric decorations inside the building's ornate lobby. 230 Park has undergone an extensive renovation, bringing its 1.4 million square feet of office space into the 21st century and earning a LEED Gold certification. The new lighting scheme, designed by Al Borden of Philadelphia-based The Lighting Practice with LED lights by Lumenpulse, is part of the building's sustainability program, Westreich noted at the lighting ceremony, reducing energy requirements by 70 percent from the high-pressure sodium lights they replaced. “Our intent has been to give the building a lively nighttime appearance by reinterpreting its historic forms and proportions with concealed uplight sources,” Borden said in a statement. “During daylight hours, when downlit by the sun, the building’s architectural details have a familiar appearance. At night, we flip the source upside down and present a new way of looking at the building. People will see details very differently and have a new experience of the architecture.” Overall, more than 700 color-changing LED lights have been installed on the building, hidden from view on the street. Each is programmed into a computer than can coordinate a fanciful light show, as was seen at the unveiling, or a simple static light wash at night. Dynamic light shows can be expected during special events and on holidays like the Fourth of July or Thanksgiving. Chairman of the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission Robert B. Tierney lauded the renovation and lighting efforts at the event, stating, "This is a model of restoration and preservation of one of the most important buildings in the city of New York, and therefore the United States." Scott Stringer was equally enthusiastic about the project during his speech, "The fact that this is a building that's sustainable, that speaks to reducing energy, is really about the future of cities around the country and around the world." While the wash of color along the building facade creates a vibrant profile for the building at night, the real power of the light is at the tower's ornate cupola, where the building's detail comes into view in stark contrast to the rigid grid of windows on Walter Gropius' neighboring MetLife Building.
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. 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.
Residents of Barcelona had the opportunity to see Antoni Gaudi’s 120-year-old La Sagrada Familia in a new light recently as Montreal-based media studio and light artists Moment Factory projection mapped a multimedia display over the cathedral's facade. While Gaudi's signature stone carvings portraying dripping stone, fanciful plant forms, and intricate religious displays in their normally sand-colored hue are usually enough to dazzle the viewers eye, the gaudy splash provided one psychedelic experience. The fifteen minute show, Ode à la vie, projected clouds and cascading waterfalls on the church’s facade, complete with fog and a soundtrack by Anthony Rozankovic and Misteur Valaire. The display attracted a crowed of 32,000 people who were showered with thousands of shimmering LED butterflies. Inspiration came from Gaudi himself who envisioned the cathedral full of color upon its completion, estimated for 2026. The show certainly mirrored Gaudi’s style that greeted an old traditional world with fantastical modern design.
Even as Berlin loses green space, the city remains Europe’s greenest with more than 400,000 trees. One of the grandest, a 100-year-old chestnut tree towering over Montbijoupark, was the center of Tree Concert, a public art project that took place in September to bring light, literally, to the city’s diminishing greenery with a glowing LED sculpture circling the trees trunk. The project was a combination of audio and visual elements. As chestnuts fell one after the other onto a series of internally lit shapes covered with polymer membranes placed around the tree, ambient sounds emanated from hidden speakers creating a symphony for park goers. Tree Concert was put on by the ad agency Proximity BBDO Berlin and the environmental organization BUND for Environment and Nature Conservation Germany, inspired by recent years when more trees have been cut than planted. The groups also wanted to draw awareness that trees are not being properly maintained because of a lack of funding. Thus they created an easy way to donate through text messages from passing visitors. The design was executed by Gang of Berlin with music from Ketchum Pleon PR.
They're being phased out in Europe and in many other countries around the world (but not in the U.S.), but there's no denying that the soft, yellow glow from incandescent light bulbs—especially the low-Wattage Edison original that's a staple in any Brooklyn-chic bar or restaurant—hasn't been matched by fluorescent or LED alternatives. Until now. Lancaster, PA-based artist Luke Anderson partneres with a ceramicist and a glass blower to create a larger-than-life modern version of the Edison bulb called Alva—the famous inventor's middle name—built with modern LED technology but with the nostalgic glow of the original. Lancaster took his design for Alva to Kickstarter in search of $4,000 to move the lamp into production, but the concept has exploded and the campaign has already raised over $27,500 with 12 days to go. Anderson described his process on Alva's Kickstarter page:
Last fall I began working on Alva. I sketched pages of variations to determine the best way to display a glowing coil. It took me several weeks and many materials until I found the best solution for the filament itself. I toyed with the idea of not using a glass bulb, or replacing the glass with a simple wire to suggest the bulb shape while leaving the filament exposed. In the end, I felt that the way Edison displayed his prototypes for demonstration would be best...a simple base holding a bulb vertically.The glass bulb and ceramic base are both hand made, making standardization difficult. Anderson modeled the lamp in CAD and used the 3-D files to create molds for the final lamp. The lamp stands17.5 inches tall and is available in brown, white, or black. You can reserve your Alva by contributing to the Kickstarter campaign and the lamp is expected to retail for $550 once in full production. [Via Jetson Green.]
With the High Line getting the lion's share of attention lately, Hudson River Park feels more neighborhoody then ever. Last night's opening of public art installation by artist/performer Jon Morris of Windmill Factory felt pretty down home with everyone sprawling out on the grass around Morris, who explained the inspiration for his light show which sits out in the water. Growing up in Beria, Kentucky, Morris could see the stars, but in New York light pollution made the experience impossible. His idea was to sprinkle a little stardust onto the Hudson in the form of solar powered LEDs attached to the tops of pilings from a long departed pier. New Yorkers are in the midst of a deep infatuation with their industrial past. Call it nostalgia, call it reappropriation, call it what you will, but nowhere is it better exemplified than in the High Line. And so there's probably no one better to comment on new art using old infrastructure than Charles Renfro, of High Line-designers Diller Scofidio+Renfro. Renfro recalled how Morris approached him with the idea of placing lights on the pilings about two years ago. Renfro asked him a few key questions: Have you contacted anyone at the Army Corps of Engineers? (No.) Do you know anyone from Hudson River Park? (He did, a friend of a friend who knew somebody.) What about the technical logistics? (He knew someone who worked at Google.) The friend from Google became one of the key players in the installation. Adam Berenzweig is used to dealing with rooms full of computer power, but here he was dealing kilobytes and radio technology, that go under water twice a day at high tide. "It was pretty thorny," he said. The biggest surprise about the project is the relatively low cost, around $25,000. And that it was completed in two years, from concept to execution. Renfro said he was surprised that the project got past Riverkeepers, the the Hudson's ever-vigilant oyster bed protectors. At the river's edge a panel overlooking the pier sends a signal out to the lights, which respond by forming a constellation. When not acting as Orion, the lights dim and flicker gently, shifting from cobalt blue to white. The scene is quiet and subtle, perhaps best happened upon rather than sought out.
Frankfurt’s Zeil gets another facelift with an ever-changing media installationThe Zeil is Frankfurt’s main shopping district, a pedestrian-only street bordered by two large plazas. In 2009, Massimiliano Fuksas’ vortex-clad Mab Zeil mixed-use center brought a new face to the street. Not to be outdone by its neighbor, the Zeilgalerie shopping mall began its own facelift the same year. Designed by Wiesbaden, Germany-based interdisciplinary collective 3deluxe, its LED-illuminated black facade brings a new sense of unity to the street and was recently given the Red Dot 2011 design award in the category of Information Design/Public Space. Originally designed by German architects Kramm & Strigl and completed in 1992, Zeilgalerie was an architectural mix consisting of a glazed semi-cylindrical structure and central entrance tower, to the right of which was a perforated aluminum facade. To make the building read as one structure without losing its original forms, designers at 3deluxe envisioned three all-black facade systems composed of glass and aluminum. The sleek building envelope would be the new canvas for a light installation showing off the latest capabilities in LED technology and multimedia design. The media installation spans the rightmost structure’s entire 2,800-square-foot façade. Double-glazed black glass panels are mounted flush with matte black cladding, behind which a rhomboid grid of 310 LED strips applied to the exterior glass pane creates the computer-controlled lighting display. Each of 19,700 diodes can be controlled separately, allowing the facade to project sharp geometric patterns as well as abstract shapes and the illusion of light and shadow drifting across the building. The facade performs at night (with music). Diagonal lines of light are superimposed by an orthogonal pattern printed onto the transparent film between glass panes. Corresponding to the pattern that is laser-cut into the metal cladding, which itself includes 2,500 LED modules, a dot screen ties the entire display together. The dot screen is repeated in the cylindrical structure to the left, which is clad in horizontal strips of matte-black aluminum outlined on the lower edge with more LEDs. Viewed as a whole, the facades take on a uniformly dark appearance in daylight, but slowly become three pronounced structures at night, each playing off the others’ patterns. Media design firm Meso Digital Interiors created the program to run the lighting display. “The complex layout of the LED fixtures called for a bespoke mapping system, which prepares all of the graphics for the Leurocom-built installation with sub-pixel precision,” describes the team in its design brief. Using graphical programming toolkit VVVV, Meso programmed scenes that would play “hide and seek” in the building’s contours, ensuring that no two performances are ever the same with software that calculates new frames for infinity.