Luminescence

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Client: New York City Economic Development Cooporation

Location: Long Island City, NY, United States

Completion date: 2018

Artwork budget: $100,000

Project Team

Landscape Architect

Marion Weiss / Michael Manfredi

Weiss / Manfredi

Artist

Nobuho Nagasawa

Overview

Emerging from the landscaped peninsula along the East River, “Luminescence” is a symbolic tribute to the lunar influence on the East River’s tidal rhythms. Nagasawa used topographic survey data collected by the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter to create the surface the moons. The phosphorous surfaces on each moon absorb sunlight during the day. As dusk approaches, the phase of each moon is revealed in sparkling blue points of light that emit a soft blue glow. Materials: Portland cement, phosphorus particles and pigment, reflective silicon carbide grains.

Goals

Luminescence consists of seven moons, each six feet in diameter and sixteen inches tall. Emerging from the landscaped peninsula, the cast concrete domes form a 66’ diameter arc that represents the seven phases of the moon. The artwork is a symbolic tribute to the lunar influence on the East River’s tidal rhythms.

To model the moons, Nagasawa used NASA topographic survey data collected by the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter. The cast domes are a stylized but accurate representation of the lunar surface of craters, mountains, and valleys. The moons’ phosphorous surfaces absorb sunlight during the day. As dusk approaches, the phase of each moon is revealed in sparkling blue points of light that emit a soft glow. "Luminescence" creates a natural vista where people observe water, sun, moon, and a sense of time passing against the Manhattan skyline.

Process

Hunter’s Point South Waterfront Park Phase II, completed in June 2018, transforms 5.5 acres of an abandoned industrial landscape into a new waterfront peninsula park, a short ferry ride from midtown Manhattan across the East River from the Empire State building, the Chrysler tower, and the United Nations. The park was a design collaboration between SWA/BALSLEY, WEISS/MANFREDI, ARUP (the prime consultant and infrastructure designer), and the New York-based Japanese artist Nobuho Nagasawa. The design re-establishes the site’s former marshland identity and introduces a resilient, multi-layered recreational and cultural destination, bringing the city to the park and the park to the waterfront.

Additional Information

Location of the Peninsula: Hunter’s Point South Waterfront Park, 54th Avenue, Center Boulevard, 55th Avenue, and the East River, Queens The Economic Development Corporation and the Department of Parks & Recreation