Khoury Levit Fong shared with us their proposal for the GLOW/SHIFTboston Copley Square Competition. Their concept consists of an urban room, and hanging in the middle of it is a great chandelier. Dewdrop-shaped globes hang from a funicular mesh support, each illuminated by a wick-like row of low-energy addressable LEDs. It is light which is given weight and pulls down upon its supports to produce an inverted dome of scintillating light. Through the middle, the oculus at the center, the unobstructed sky is visible again. More images and architects’ description after the break.
Each light fixture weights the stainless-steel cable mesh from which it hangs like the sand bags of Gaudi’s hanging chain models. Lighting is distributed throughout the square, providing local area lighting by , creating luminous rooms under the allées of trees flanking the north and south edges of the square with up-lighting , and illuminating each of the surrounding buildings with dedicated fixtures. All these lights are unobtrusive and coordinated in their color and intensity with the central chandelier. Thus, if the chandelier flickers, or changes color so do all the lights of the square.
The impression is that all light is emanating from the chandelier; the energy-efficient reality is that strategically distributed light sources are doing the work from their optimal proximity to surfaces and objects. Sensors are placed throughout the square that permit lighting to be made responsive to movement and activity in the square. All lights are linked to digital controls that permit curated design of lighting effect and patterns as well as public participation in the creation of such effects.
Power for the chandelier and all the square’s lights and power needs are provided through four vertical wind turbines that are mounted atop each of the four masts used to support the funicular mesh of the chandelier. Generated power is stored in batteries at the foot of each mast, while the visibility of the turbines makes for a rhetoric linking the illumination of the square to a visible energy source that is integral to the design of the perceived light source.
Architects: Khoury Levit Fong
Location: Boston, Massachusetts, United States
Principals in Charge: R. el-Khoury and R. Levit
Associate in Charge: Lindsay Hochman
Team: Roya Mottahedah
Status: Competition Finalist, Spring 2012