Client: Intercontinental Hotels Group
Location: Shanghai, China
Completion date: 2009
Nikolas Weinstein Studios, Inc.
This sculpture was designed to unify two lobbies at a luxury hotel. Imagined as a calligraphic line, it winds its way throughout the space to interact both with the scale of the architecture and that of the viewer. The flexible glass rises up to graze the ceiling and swoops to almost within reach as it passes over a reflecting pool. This full range of movement makes full use of the negative space, so that the sculpture appears delicate and floating even as it covers nearly an acre. 255' x 61' x 40' (78 x 18.5 x 12 m)
In 2009 we introduced a flexible glass system, which allows us to effectively glass at room temperature. This is the second project in that development, which continues to this day. Here we literally sculpted the glass onsite for the first time. After weaving together the 35,000 hand-worked glass tubes in our San Francisco studio the artwork was collapsed and shipped flat to Shanghai. Unfolded and expanded, this flexible glass was then coaxed into its final shape using an iterative process that relied on our eye, an intuition for physical forces, and a complex computer model.