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New York, NY (2001)
Aki Ishida as Project Designer/Manager at James Carpenter Design Associates

Located in the elevator lobby of a highrise in Times Square, glass lens wall installation synthesizes the organic quality of hand cast glass lenses with the highly precise, machined stainless steel and aluminum to create a wall that interacts with the lobby environment. 42 diffused and clear panels are hung from the stainless steel structure, creating a screen which veils the activities occurring in the elevator lobby. 294 cylindrical lenses, each individually cast by hand, are placed within the wall to capture images of people moving by. These abstracted images are seen through the diffused glass panels from the entry side.

Cast glass lenses seen through textured or diffused glass will reveal its bubbles, ripples and subtle imperfections. These patterns will vary depending upon lighting conditions and viewing angles. The ripple pattern on the surface, called ‘chill wrinkles’, are created as the hot, molten glass is poured into a chilled steel mold and shrinks the instant it comes in contact with the steel. No two castings, therefore, are exactly the same. These ripple patterns seen through diffused glass can create an image that is as animated as water in character.

Base Building by KPF
Glass casting by John Lewis
CNC milled parts by Tripyramid Structures

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