Courtyard Sculpture: To create a permanent site-specific sculpture for the courtyard of 15 Union Square West. Inspired by the history of the building, this work will enhance the development’s uniqueness and draw in prospective buyers. Part of what makes 15USW so unique is its history as the former address of Tiffany & Co.’s headquarters. The building’s original six floors were constructed in the 1800s, when cast iron was a relatively inexpensive way to create complex facades. Now, a signature part of that facade has become the focal point of the condo’s character.
Dimension: 10 feet x 10 feet x 10 feet
Owner and contractor: Brack Capital Real Estate, New York
Architects: Perkins Eastman, New York
Interior Design: Vicente Wolf Associates, New York
Structural Engineer: DeSimone, New York
Curtain wall Consultant: Dewhurst Macfarlane and Partners, New York
The courtyard sculpture must always look fresh, withstanding the test of time. The material used will be suitable to withstand the weather changes in New York City. Although the space is not designed to entertain people for any length of time, a certain amount of light is necessary for visibility to maintain a level of safety and thus should be incorporated into the work. The light will be subtle and non-disruptive to residents of the building.
Transparent, pearlescent acrylic spheres of varying diameters will appear to float in the space between 15USW and the adjacent building but will be attached to a framework that will be designed with the help of a structural engineer to ensure safety and durability. The smallest spheres will be at the top of the piece, about 50 feet from the bottom of the courtyard, and below the 7th floor. As sunlight permeates into the courtyard, tiny sparkles of colored light refract prismatically through the hundreds of crystals filling the spheres. The phenomenon will reoccur at dusk as warm artificial light emanates from below the piece, providing sufficient illumination for the courtyard, not quite as bright as a street light. Thus providing practical visibility and aesthetic beauty which will give the feeling of security, without disturbing the residents on the lower buyersfloors. The inspiration for this piece is my time spent in Iceland in areas filled with with geysers. I envision this piece to be like a jewel box opening with the jewel-like spheres rising from the box to the top.