999 individually CNC trimmed Carbon Fibre rods are hung above a passageway upon which 6000 reflective triangles are placed with precision, forming an ‘Urban Chandelier.’ Suspended by a cable system, ‘Urban Chandelier’ reflects the natural day light and artificial night light creating dynamic light patterns which give expression to natural invisible forces, revitalising a forgotten public space in downtown Chattanooga, Tennessee.
‘Urban Chandelier’ was one of five projects chosen through an international competition to be constructed as part of Passageways, an initiative aimed at activating unused spaces in the City. The project was installed in August, 2016 and will remain in place for 12 months.
By not relying on additional technology beyond what is already existing, ‘Urban Chandelier’ utilises available light sources and the kinetic energy of the wind to illuminate what otherwise is an underutilized + forgotten space in the city. The material properties provide for ever-changing effects based on available inputs; gentle or bustling wind, direct light, reflections, or even projections.
Structural systems are traditionally designed to be strong enough to resist dynamic forces. Carbon Fibre, with its very high strength to weight ratio, offers the possibility of rethinking the definition of structure. Through the idea of a ‘soft-structure’, the canopy is able to celebrate the relationship formed between natural forces and optical properties.
In the sunlight the chandelier projects patterns of light. In the shade it picks up surrounding reflections creating mirrored distortions. At night, surrounding lights + projections shine on the interactive surfaces producing light formations in the passageway while providing for unpredictable public programs (cocktail party / play space / dance floor), actively engaging both the public and the environment.