Luminous Grid Shell

Submitted by James Carpenter

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Client: Bank of America

Location: Charlotte, NC, United States

Completion date: 2005

Artwork budget: $625,000

Project Team

Engineer

Michael Mulhearn

TriPyramid

Fabrication

Michael Mulhearn

TriPyramid

Overview

Like a flag in the wind, the artwork captures light entering through a window wall within the Bank of America’s Charlotte, NC Corporate Center, thereby visually animating the stair, and bringing attention to this important vertical circulation linking the two floors.

The 16’ long x 22’ high x 3’ deep glass structure is delicately suspended in the stairwell, its colors and reflectivity dynamically responsive to the visitors passage. Shifting point of view in relation to the artwork, incoming daylight and some electrical lighting create the interactive effects without need for any fragile electronics or temperamental programming.

Goals

Commissioned by the Bank of America, the artwork is efficiently integrated into the stairwell’s circulation program and physical structure. The design of the sculpture is structured using a network of compressed glass panels and tensioned stainless steel rods. Every element is integral and unique to creating the structured curving form. This notion of this networked structure is also suggestive of the financial system and networks that link each bank branch into a nationwide entity and cultural presence.

Process

The suspended structure appears almost to float in space. This was achieved in collaboration, one that goes back to the earliest days of my studio practice, with our fabricator and engineer, TriPyramid Structures. The simple elegance belies very complex structural calculations and precise fabrication. The glass plays a structural role in compression which allows for the minimization of the stainless-steel rods and aluminum fittings. The special coating on the glass accentuates the variability of the glass grid shell’s response to light intensity and source.

Additional Information

The design of the sculpture is structured using a network of compressed glass panels and tensioned stainless-steel rods. Every element is integral and unique to creating the structured curving form.