Solarise: The Beacon

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Solarise: A Sea of All Colors, 2015

Garfield Park Conservatory is lauded as one of the great architectural masterpieces in Chicago. Completed in 1907 by the famed landscaped architect Jens Jenson this revolutionary building opened as the largest conservatory in the world. The glass structure contains distinct gardens connected by a series of contiguous pathways runnning throughout the space. Majestic gardens present both contemporary and prehistoric plants in this vibrant environment. In 2011, a storm caused significant damaged to the glass building and the plants within the conservatory.

As part of an effort to raise awareness and draw public attention to the conservatory and rehabilitation efforts, Luftwerk was commissioned to create a series of year-long installations throughout the conservatory. Solarise: A Sea of All Colors contained five distinct installations; each in a different garden, developed with a distinct point of view to frame, highlight, and interpret important elements of the garden.

The Beacon

The Beacon welcomes evening visitors to the Conservatory. LED nodes line and highlight the vertical structure of the glass building. The nodes translate a live data feed gauging the course and speed of wind passing through Chicago in a dynamic display. This visual interpretation abstracts data to highlight the natural environment surrounding the unique ecosystem of nature within the Conservatory. Developed as a permanent installation, this permanent piece leaves a mark of the Solarise exhibition.

Reviews:
Architectural Record
CS Modern Interiors
New Media Caucus—College Art Association
Condé Nast Traveler
Architect Magazine
ArtSlant
The Architect’s Newspaper
Time Out Chicago
Chicago Reader | People Issue 2015
The Art Assignment | PBS Digital Studio

Site
Garfield Park Conservatory
Architect
Jeremy Olsen
Technical Support
RGBLights
Photography
John Faier
Commission
Chicago Park District

Materials: LED intelligent lighting, magnets, dynamic lighting control unit, Photovoltaik array150′ x 50′

Permanent Installation, Garfield Park Conservatory | Chicago, IL