Client: Kaizen Development
Location: Dallas, TX, United States
Completion date: 2022
Art + Artisans Consulting
We were commissioned by Art + Artisans and Kaizen Development to create a large
three dimensional feature wall for the main lobby of The Link at Uptown where three neighborhoods in Dallas—Uptown, Victory Park and Downtown merge. Adjacent to the Dallas Art District and 4 blocks from the Dallas Museum of Art, the new 24 story office building has a glass facade at the ground level facing a small downtown park. The backlight artwork acts as both a sculptural element within the lobby, but also a backdrop for the surrounding urban context. Integrated into the architecture from floor to ceiling between the two elevator banks, the crystalline structure acts as a magical new material within the building. The aluminum structure is clad with acrylic laminated with 3M dichroic film giving the lobby a kaleidoscopic backdrop that changes color and can be seen shimmering as a jewel-like architectural element as pedestrians and vehicles pass as the streets of downtown Dallas intersect at the base of the building.
We were approached by Art + Artisans to create an artwork for the wall between the elevator banks within the new building. The main goals were to create something special that acted as a unique backdrop for the lobby, but could also be seen and have an impact from the outside of the building. The building is uniquely sited at the crossroads of many districts in downtown Dallas and across from the main glass facade entrance is a small downtown triangular park created by the converging streets. Creating an interior artwork that also has a stroking impact on the surrounding urban context was an exciting opportunity for us. To achieve this we created an artwork that becomes a part of the architecture. Rather than it being framed on the wall, it spans floor to ceiling. Its structure, form, and material offer a contrast to the interior finishes and the various elements come together to give the impression of a new, magical, and unexpected material that has emerged or grown in the lobby. The crystalline form and dichroic acrylic come together with programmable backlighting to create a sculptural surface that catches sunlight during the day in a kaleidoscopic way, while at night it acts as a beacon within the lobby and shifts from an interior backdrop to one for the urban nightlife.
We worked with Art+Artisans, Kaizen, and the architects on the initial concept design. It was crucial to get a sense of the interior materials and the siting of the building. Once we understood the unique siting and distance of the wall to the street, the design quickly fell into place. Because the material and lighting are so unique and hard to visualize, we created a full scale prototype with working lighting and sent it to Dallas for the team to get an understanding of the dramatic effects the form, material, and lighting would create. While the client and design team did not seem to have any doubts about the design, the prototype confirmed to them how special the artwork would be in the building. This was great, because the excitement and anticipation around the project made the process so much easier. Because the artwork is floor to ceiling and the full width of the wall between the elevator banks we had to work closely with the architects and contractors to confirm as built dimensions so the artwork fit perfectly in all dimensions and appear completely integrated into the architecture. We also worked with Kaizen on a custom online control system for the LED backlighting so they can schedule different lighting settings for everyday use and events.
The artwork is made of a lightweight aluminum structure that when assembled creates 99 “cells.” These cells are created using an algorithm that finds the optimal form between a set of random points in the same way soap bubbles form. This gives the artwork its light-weight. Each cell is backed by a 6” thick sandwich of aluminum mounted with an array of programmable LEDs and then finished with a translucent diffusion panel. The three-dimensional cells that give the artwork its faceted and crystalline qualities are then attached to the cells corresponding light chamber. That structure is then clad with acrylic that has been laminated with 3M dichroic film. The dichroic film filters spectrums of colored light. Because of the light filtering film, the angels appear to shift color and reflectivity depending on the angle of the view and the color of the backlight. As people walk through the lobby, past the building on the surrounding sidewalks, or pass by in cars the crystalline wall constantly shifts between colors and reflects the surroundings.