Sanjay Gangal is the President of IBSystems, the parent company of AECCafe.com, MCADCafe, EDACafe.Com, GISCafe.Com, and ShareCG.Com.
Glow 2010 – Luminous Passage in Santa Monica, California by Predock Frane Architects
March 11th, 2012 by Sanjay Gangal
Article source: Predock Frane Architects
For the 2010 GLOW we are proposing a linear spatial construction that links the City to the Ocean. Working with the site of the Bay Street boardwalk, we intend to make visible the connection across the sand to the edge of the ocean. This is a physical “land bridge” connecting the urban landscape of Santa Monica to the edge of the water, but also a conceptual leap that transitions from the “logics” that define the city to the those of the ocean. Taking the vertical nature of the city and merging it with the horizontal impulses of the pacific, we are proposing a visceral and intense space.
Composed of luminous lines of color (Electroluminescent wire – EL wire), the ambitious scale of the project is a relatively simple construction with only six fixed poles as primary support (see diagram). From the boardwalk, the piece begins with serial vertical lines that gradually transition and twist toward the horizontal. Emerging from the tunnel of glowing lines at the edge of the water, a space is defined akin to the classic California beach campfire – a gathering spot – where the wildness of the ocean is made present in sound and smell. Instead of a literal fire, a glowing orb defines the center of this space, slowly transitioning in color and pattern over the course of the night.
The overall piece is interactive at several levels. As a spatial construct, movement through the piece is transformational and sensate. Along the edge of the water the EL wires hang more loosely which will naturally act as a field of motion in the wind. As a funnel and gathering space the piece encourages social grouping and interaction. Lastly, from discreet angles the piece will be perceived in different ways, from the North and South appearing as a bridge-like element that filters movement up and down the beach, while from the East and West a tube of space linking boardwalk to water’s edge.
The installation process is straightforward and linear. Six PVC poles are embedded into the sand at angles with vertical cables to resist counter forces. Next, primary cables are strung along the length of the construction forming diagonal lines to which the finer filligree of vertical and horizontal EL wires are strung along like a spider making a web. The entire piece can then be powered by one simple plug connection concealed at the edge of the boardwalk. The component parts can all be fabricated well in advance of the GLOW event, installed over the course of the day, then dis-assembled the next morning. Every component of the piece is re-usable as a kit of parts. We imagine taking these pieces and re-configuring them as future installations under different site and curatorial conditions with entirely different effects.
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