LocationIFC Oval Atrium
Design TeamErik Amir, Dora Chi, Jason Loo, Ryo Otsuka
Text description provided by the architects. Award-winning Architectural office, spatial practice, completed a site-specific installation in Hong Kong, titled Glowing Trees. The sculpture is composed of seven out-of-scale kinetic “trees”, between 8-13 meters tall, installed in Hong Kong’s iconic indoor public space, the Oval Atrium of the International Finance Centre (IFC) complex. The installation was conceptualized to provoke emotions of anticipation, discovery, excitement and sharing.
Inspired by the Architect’s view of Hong Kong as a groundless city lacking activated public space, the Glowing Trees seek to transform the Oval Atrium by fostering an assembly of a large catchment of potential users. The site’s position as a pivotal intersection of transportation node and mixed-use program is a point of reference for many who pass through this site on a day-to-day basis. The trees’ kinetic motion, as it moves up and down, allows for surprise programmatic reveals on multiple stages defined by the Architects via the pleated fabric. Spontaneous reaction is further supported by each of the tree’s playful materiality, striated color palette, and interior reflective forms allowing users to gaze and then capturing the moment to share through today’s mobile technologies.
The Glowing Trees project aims to extend beyond the typical commercial interventions of this plaza space by taking advantage of the site as a decompression point in a very dense and generally stressful urban environment. The installation celebrates its cultural positioning by relying on the interaction of strangers with the site, in effect allowing many to revel the “joy” associated with the Winter Season.
COMPOSITION OF THE GLOWING TREES
The Glowing Trees project is composed of 7 giant sized suspended cones, which take advantage of the site’s uniquely structure-free and largely open indoor public space. The installation’s choreographed up-and-down kinetic motion allows for a sculptural composition of the trees to remain in dynamic flux, forcing the passer-by to slow down to appreciate the installation with other strangers and seasonal revelers. Multiple access points from various levels, allow for as many perspectives to view the project depending on how the installation site is approached from multiple floor levels. Each tree’s striated hues are selected to become darker as it reaches the top of the form and is composed of 2,174 strips of fabric, which were hand sewn, pleated, and assembled on the form of each tree. Custom-patterned hand-woven carpets provide a colorful base while hanging mirrored balls are composed to provide a unique internalized experience inside each cone.
QUOTES BY THE DESIGNERS
“We looked at Glowing Trees as an opportunity to promote public-oriented creativity,” explains Dora Chi, “Naturally, we that felt the IFC’s Oval Atrium functioned both as a city plaza, and a spatial focal point in Hong Kong, for travelers, locals, and holiday shoppers.”
“We used the same methodologies, for Glowing Trees, as with any of our other urban public projects,” says Erik Amir, “The project encourages human interaction, by going beyond the typical approach of shopping mall installation, in order to create spatial moments where visitors can truly engage.”