SOFTlab animates one state street's lobby with a kaleidoscopic wall structure

SOFTlab animates one state street's lobby with a kaleidoscopic wall structure

NYC-based design studio SOFTlab was commissioned by one state street to design a permanent wall installation to accompany the building’s recent lobby renovation. ‘our intent was to create an installation that is not only a part of the architecture, but would also act as a new type of material within the lobby,’ explains the designers. 

the feature wall is a backdrop for the new security desk. 
all images by alan tansey



in the end, SOFTlab created a crystalline structure that activates the lobby of one state street by casting a range of vivid lights onto the smooth and neutral materials. as visitors approach the security desk, they would see the details of the lobby reflected unto the installation in fragmented and kaleidoscopic ways — thanks to its different angularities. the crystalline structure ultimately gives the wall a much more spatial and material-like quality when looked at from different vantage points. 

SOFTlab’s installation extends from floor to ceiling and the elevator banks


the lightweight aluminum structure is clad in 3M dichroic, enhancing the variation of color and reflection depending on the angle it is viewed from. the team worked with focus lighting to come up with a diffused backlit system of LED fixtures that allows for the piece to be lit evenly. on the other hand, shifts in the color of the LEDs has dramatically different effects on the dichroic film; some colors cause the installation to have a much more monolithic color, such as purple, while other tones produce variations between reds and greens. blue for instance, makes the film completely — transparent highlighting the aluminum structure. 

the lobby renovation includes a new floor to ceiling glass façade allowing the installation to be seen from the street

it creates hundreds of facets at different angles, taking advantage of the dichroic’s color filtering properties

at night, the backlit wall acts as a colorful lantern in the lobby

the lightweight structure is made of flat laser cut aluminum parts assembled into over 200 unique cells

the installation is back lit with color changing LEDs; as the they change, it produces an array of color spectrums

depending on the view of the color passing through the dichroic, panels shifts between two colors

the LEDs that backlight the installation change the colors from cooler colors to warmer reds and greens

the details of the new lobby renovation are also reflected in the piece, creating a kaleidoscopic effect

the dichroic appears as purple when back lit with blue – giving it an amethyst-like quality



p>designboom has received this project from our ‘DIY submissions‘ feature, where we welcome our readers to submit their own work for publication. see more project submissions from our readers here.


edited by: lea zeitoun | designboom

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