The Lab at Rockwell Group’s Luminaries Lights Up Brookfield Place
An undulating arrangement of 650 custom acrylic lanterns light up lower Manhattan’s Brookfield Place for Luminaries, the Lab at Rockwell Group’s inaugural seasonal installation.
After 6 months of bespoke fabrication, a team of ten workers spent five days constructing the physical structure within the newly established shopping center. A black-painted steel framework, suspended from the space’s Winter Garden atrium by way of aircraft cables, enables the pendants to float among planted palm trees, suspended above an open seating area below. To offer a captivating light show of embedded LED lights, Rockwell designed its own software program, allowing for periodic on-the-hour displays of choreographed “show moments”, complete with winter-inspired themes like the Northern Lights and falling snowflakes.
From 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. each day, the programming makes the installation interactive. Three glowing, touch-sensitive “Wishing Stations” in Corian allow the public to “release” a wish up and away into the canopy, then watch as it manifested as a colorful, animated display. The wishes made don’t just benefit the people who make them—Arts Brookfield will donate $1 for every wish made to the Grammy Foundation’s Grammy in the Schools program, which sent singer Meghan Trainor in to make the inaugural wish.
With two years of development already logged on this project, Rockwell’s efforts will not end when the installation is taken down on January 10. The Lab plans to present the installation as an annual Winter Tradition, with new additions and variations specially designed for each new year.