Client: Tishman Speyer
Location: Long Island City, NY, United States
Completion date: 2017
Michael Curry Mosaics
Clodagh, Nancie Min, Eliana Lee, Neha Sheth
Erik Rose, Juan Veronelli, Francesco Feretti, Patrick Shiels
Marina Kote, Steve Macchio, Abhishek Mathur, Dan Fine
SBLD Studio-Architectural Lighting Design
Lynette Murphy, Mark Doherty, Erin Kuhn
Ashville-Schoonmaker Mica Co.
Clodagh Design brought me in to design and construct a glowing mosaic feature wall in the lobby of Jackson Park, a new Tishman Speyer residential property in New York City. The end result is a 194 sq. ft. mosaic sculpture mounted on a 12’ 6” H x 15’ 4” W lightbox, consisting of mica plates and acrylic resin sheets that are fabricated into tiles of varying lengths, widths, and gauges. All 700 mosaic pieces were backed with high bond adhesive and installed directly to the substrate, piece by piece.
Clodagh's team approached Jackson Park with their signature Life-Enhancing Minimalism ™, incorporating both ancient and cutting-edge modalities like biophilia, chromatherapy, and feng shui. For the lobby's 100 foot long entryway, they envisioned a large, glowing art wall as the focal point that would not only draw visitors in, but would also help support the wellness of the building's inhabitants. The artistic direction expressed in our initial meeting emphasized qualities such as subtlety, warmth, smokiness, and energy through shape. We moved towards a rich palette of ambers and grays and chose translucent materials that gracefully diffuse light. In keeping with biophilic design principles, one of the selected materials was mica, not only because of its ideal interplay with light, but also because of its powerful healing properties. A natural silicate crystal, mica is thought to remove stagnant energy and help stabilize energy fields. When combined with a waterfall, fireplace, and cabana seating, the mosaic feature wall is the centerpiece of a cohesive design: an oasis nestled within a bustling city.
Bringing the project to life was a three-fold process. The first part was presenting Clodagh and her team with various layouts and possibilities. We worked together to refine the design, materials, and color choice, and I eventually created a small prototype to present to the client. The second phase involved collaborating with the architect and lighting designer to create an unusually large, seamless lightbox capable of supporting the weight of the design. This required that the substrate be carefully engineered, and all teams worked together to ensure that the substrate and the mosaic design would be successfully integrated. Once the lightbox was erected, the third and final phase was coordinating with Turner Construction and Jackson Park management to execute the mosaic installation. A forty-four story tower nearing completion, the site was a beehive of activity, so careful attention was given to scheduling, and the mosaic was laid out and numbered in my studio for time efficiency. A custom built ladder was required to execute the installation in a tight 40" aisle behind the concierge desk, and with a three man team, our installation was completed ahead of schedule.
The mosaic is an ever-changing piece of art. At the start of the walk up, it appears to be two dimensional. As the viewer moves in, the varying gauges of the mosaic tiles "pop" unexpectedly, and the three dimensionality is revealed. Additionally, the wall is situated next to a large window with south western exposure. Both the natural and LED lighting engage with the lustrous materials to create a gradual and dramatic transformation from daytime to nighttime. It has been extremely rewarding to meet the building's residents and employees and see the wonderful attachment they have to the mosaic.