Friday, January 14, 2011

Light Pipes & Sconce

In addition to the cast concrete logo, the office addition of 2007 invovlved other unique architectural features.  One of them was the idea of light pipes.

The design called for a half dozen individual offices to be positioned against the 12" thick, concrete block, outer wall of the building.  The original plan involved cutting windows in each of the partitioned offices.  When examination of the wall showed that it would be inadvisable to cut such large openings along the base of a 30' high wall, I came up with the idea to "pipe" in the light from outside.

Instead of cutting 4'x5' openings, we would instead core-drill a vertical row of 6 holes, each 2" in diameter.  Solid acrylic rods with sharpened polished ends would be inserted through the openings protruding from the otherwise flat surface of the exterior, and southern-exposed wall.  The sharpened ends would catch the sunlight, and act like giant fiberoptics

On the inside, a specially designed wooden light fixture (non-electrical) would support a seventh vertical acrylic rod, notched to receive the 6 that pierce the wall.  The seventh rod was actually inserted within and through a series of 6 acrylic cubes.  The cubes are strictly decorative, and help to mask the circular aspect of the pipes.

In order to demonstrate that the effect was possible, I built a functioning, scale model.  The seventh vertical rod is missing in this case, the six hornizontal ones in the model pipe light directly into the cubes.

The goal wasn't to provide a view like a window.  It was to allow the office occupant, with no access to the outside, to be able to discern the natural cycle of daylight time and weather conditions as indicated by the continuous change in the appearance, angle, and color of the light emerging from the pipes.

Because glare was expected to be an issue, the fixtures were located behind the desks of the office occupants, and not in line with the reflective view of any computer monitors.

The images above and to the right are of the finished full scale interior light fixture. 

To the left is a photograph of the scale model on a windowsill.  The back wall of the model is correctly scaled, and the light coming through the cubes is traveling through the equivalent of 16" of solid wall.

Below is the original concept sketch for the acrylic cubes and to the right is the to-scale working drawing of the sconce as constructed.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

The Sob - Test Proof

This work, based on an image, "T" taken by photographer Rick Day (used with his permission) is different from all my previous work in several key aspects.

Although it was originally designed with six gradient layers, I added a seventh after the fact - in order to articulate the line between the wall and the floor. 

Differentiating this line made the model's body pop forward in a much more three dimensional way.

In addition, previous work all consisted of the black mat on top so that it could form the framing mat as well as the darkest shadows of the image.

The detail photograph to the right, shows the highlights and deep shadows in the legs and feet.  It was difficult to figure out the layering in such a tiny area.

The detail photograph below, shot off axis illustrates how the darker areas are the deepest.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

A Little Lower - Test Proof

As I've developed my cutting skill, the selection of layer colors has proven to make an enormous difference in how the work is read at a distance.  Because of this, when working with new colors, several tests are needed to be sure that each shade is appropriate both to the others and to the image.

This cutting was done as an experiment in golden-brown earth tones.  I suspect the same image cut in blues would give it a substantially different appearance.  Once I haven't ruled out exploring.

I do not know the model nor the photographer.  This image was cropped down from a much larger one, found on a human-art blog.