Client: !50 Fayetteville
Location: Raleigh, NC, United States
Completion date: 2019
Grotta Aeris is a crystalline artwork integrated into the a new lobby renovation, designed by Gensler, in 150 Fayetteville | Wells Fargo Capitol Center in Raleigh, North Carolina. Facing the main entrance, the artwork frames the elevator bank that connects to the buildings two entrances on either side of the block. The mirror copper panels cladding the faceted geometry of the artwork give the impression you are entering a grotto, or space that blurs the line between something architecture; and natural. The form of the piece is inspired by the crystalline growth of natural elements. Copper, like many other natural elements, will grow in a very structured way, but as it responds to its immediate environment, the overall growth pattern takes on a more organic form. The rigid edges of the piece retain the rule-based logic of crystalline growth, while the overall form is much more organic, like the grotto-like form of an outcropping of growing copper. During the day the faceted surface and mirrored finish reflect the activity within the lobby and the street in unexpected ways. At night seems between the panels allow programmed LED lighting within the piece to accentuate the edges and give the artwork a more atmospheric feel.
The goal of the artwork was to offset the refined and clean lobby renovation. While the artwork was meant to be something that was spectacular and unique, the idea was still to integrate it into the architecture so it was obviously unique but felt like it belonged to the space. The copper material was driven by the copper backed glass finish of the elevator bank. By using the same material palette and designing the artwork to be a part of the main threshold through the lobby it appears ot be an outcropping of natural stone or crystals growing from the elevator bank linking both sides of the building.
We worked closely with the architects, Gensler, to develop the details and tolerances needed to integrate such a complex artwork into the lobby renovation. Once the design was finalized we worked with the contractors to route power and data to the space for the back lighting and the integration of sprinklers into the artwork.