The High Line in New York is spinning off art projects on all sides. For those seeking an immersive architectural walk, tailored to the conditions of their surroundings, a non-discrete bridge in Chelsea may be the answer.
It may be only a small-scale intervention, but a public bridge running next to the High Line now houses a scintillating display of interior lighting. During the day and from an external perspective, the bridge appears mundane, dated even, and of no particular interest. Step inside however, and the bridge comes to life.
Taking responsive architecture to the extreme, the 70-by-10-foot installation called Prismatic_NYC utilizes 66 individual prisms, each individually powered by a brushless motor. Subsequently 40,000 integrated LED’s beam across the bridge in a wave-like form.
Prismatic_NYC is the work of Hyphen-Labs working alongside IA Interior Architects installed an array of rotating light prisms within the structure. The light show isn’t static either. Using online weather sources, the display responds to changes in the local climate awarding each user a unique experience.
A staggering amount data is accumulated to achieve this. Cloud cover, wind speed, humidity, and the accumulation or intensity of precipitation, frequency, speed, and position of the “light-wave,” to name a few, go into the installation’s lightscape. To amplify the experience further, the designers behind Prismatic_NYC stated that “temperature changes generate a noise function that develops the sculptures color and light behavior.”
And in order to be in tune with seasonal/holiday moods, a built-in calendar checks for seasons and holidays, sunrises and sunsets, tidal movements, and lunar and celestial events. In theory, no walk through the bridge should ever be the same on different occasions.
As a result, the fully enclosed bridge hence connects travellers to the conditions outside while providing them with shelter. One can easily imagine hearing the rain from inside, or seeing the sun set and being exposed to the structures interpretations.
“Prismatic allows us to meditate on the beauty of light, geometry, and waveforms. Each side distinguishable from the other as they absorb, reflect, and generate light,” said Hyphen-Labs on its website. “Harmonious luminescent rotations broadcast oscillating waves that spread out through the space and constantly reflecting our changing environment.”
“The design of the tapered prisms went through various iterations. Generative and parametric design approaches ensured the optimization of the visual experience,” the designers continued. “The prisms’ physical components, fabrication, applet, website, and experience are of custom design, using the highest quality materials to ensure maximum performance for the next five years.”