the world's most visited architecture website

Sign up now and start saving and organizing your favorite architecture projects and photos

Sign up now to save and organize your favorite architecture projects


Find the most inspiring products for your projects in our Product Catalog.

Find the most inspiring products in our Product Catalog.


Get the ArchDaily Chrome Extension and be inspired with every new tab. Install here »


All over the world, architects are finding cool ways to re-use run-down old buildings. Click here to see the best in Refurbishment Architecture.

Want to see the coolest refurbishment projects? Click here.


Immerse yourself in inspiring buildings with our selection of 360 videos. Click here.

See our immersive, inspiring 360 videos. Click here.

Navigate articles using your keyboard
  1. ArchDaily
  2. News
  3. The Principals’ Dynamic Sanctuary Pulses in Time to Visitors’ Heartbeats

The Principals’ Dynamic Sanctuary Pulses in Time to Visitors’ Heartbeats

The Principals’ Dynamic Sanctuary Pulses in Time to Visitors’ Heartbeats
The Principals’ Dynamic Sanctuary Pulses in Time to Visitors’ Heartbeats, © Mike Vorrasi
© Mike Vorrasi

Brooklyn design studio The Principals have completed the Dynamic Sanctuary, an interactive installation at Sight Unseen OFFSITE, during the 2015 NYCxDESIGN festival. Commissioned by Ford Motors, the light-based installation detects and pulses with the biorhythms of its visitors, creating a dynamic space in both name and nature.

The modular installation was manually constructed by The Principals in their Brooklyn studio. Learn more about the project and view selected images after the break.

© Pippa Drummond © Mike Vorrasi © Pippa Drummond © Pippa Drummond + 12

Courtesy of The Principals
Courtesy of The Principals

A hexagonal mirror-polished Plexiglass surface forms the installation's floor, and is enclosed by a series of tessellating Coroplast plastic modular elements. Described by The Principals as an "inverted triangle diaphragm," the wall system combines die-cut flat sheets with a curved assembly that enhances strength and stability. Structural columns are concealed within the hollow centers of the plastic elements, and stretch upwards to a mirrored ceiling affixed to a series of aluminum joists.

© Pippa Drummond
© Pippa Drummond

Along the perimeter of the floor and at the base of the wall cells, 29 custom-cut triangles hold a total of over 100 high-powered LED lights. With a lighting temperature of 6000K, the LED lights lend the installation a serene blue tinge that fades almost to white where the wall meets the floor. In turn, each of the 29 LED-studded triangles are connected to one of eight LED drivers concealed within the Dynamic Sanctuary's wall. The drivers control the speed and brightness of light activity within the installation space, creating stunning visual effects.

© Pippa Drummond
© Pippa Drummond

At the heart of the installation stands a mirror polished sensor podium, to which a pulse rate sensor is affixed. Visitors enter the installation through a narrow offset walkway, and attach the sensor to their fingers. The installation responds immediately, with lights pulsing in and out, in sync with the visitor's pulse and projecting their biorhythms on the installation's walls. 

© Pippa Drummond
© Pippa Drummond

Designed to accommodate a single visitor at at time, the intimate space reflects a host of influences; the Principals have cited everything from slot canyons and Richard Serra to the inside of the Ford Edge vehicle as inspiration. Watch the video below to see the Dynamic Sanctuary in action.

View the complete gallery

About this author
Patricia Arcilla
Cite: Patricia Arcilla. "The Principals’ Dynamic Sanctuary Pulses in Time to Visitors’ Heartbeats" 30 May 2015. ArchDaily. Accessed . <> ISSN 0719-8884

You've started following your first account!

Did you know?

You'll now receive updates based on what you follow! Personalize your stream and start following your favorite authors, offices and users.