NYC-based design studio SOFTlab was commissioned by One State Street to design a permanent wall installation to accompany the building’s new lobby renovation. “Our intent was to create an installation that is not only a part of the architecture but would also act as a new type of material within the lobby,” explain SOFTlab. “We designed a crystalline structure that activates the lobby by casting a range of vivid light onto the smooth and neutral materials.”
As visitors approach the security desk they see the details of the lobby reflected in the crystalline structure in fragmented and kaleidoscopic ways. The crystalline structure gives the wall a much more spatial and material-like quality. It looks different from any angel within the lobby.
The lightweight aluminum structure is clad in 3M dichroic enhancing the variation of color and reflection depending on the angle it is viewed from. SOFTlab worked with Focus Lighting to come up with a diffused back lit system of LED fixtures that allows for the piece to be lit evenly. Shifts in the color of the LEDs has dramatically different effects on the Dichroic film.
Some colors cause the installation to have a much more monolithic color such as purple, while other colors produce variations between reds and greens. Blue for instance, makes the film completely transparent highlighting the aluminum structure. During the day sunlight leeks in lighting the piece from the outside, while at night it is back lit and acts as a lantern that can been seen from the street through the new floor to ceiling glass façade.
all images © Alan Tansey