Grupo MCI together with our distributor in UK, Atrium, lighted up “The Smile” installation, one of the striking installations from The London Design Festival 2016. To light up the interior structure, flexible LED stripes Linear Flex were used. And to enhances the idea of floating by making the pavilion lighter, they also decided to installed SmartLedFlex.
The Smile, designed by Alison Brookds Architects, in partnership with American Hardwood Export Council, ARUP and SEAM Design, during the London Design Festival, is an immense urban installation that showcases the structural and spatial potential of cross-laminated hardwood using American tulipwood. Engineered into a long curved rectangular structure, the first ever hardwood “mega-tube” – it measures an impressive expanse of 34-meter-long, 3,5-meter height and 4,5 meter wide.
Atrium was introduced to the project by SEAM Design, responsible for giving the centrepiece identity and performance at night. “We have been working with SEAM for many years now”, said Patrick Lourie of Atrium. “When they approached us to join them on this year’s Landmark Project, it was an opportunity we did not want to pass up. After they shared the initial lighting concepts for The Smile, we knew immediately that Grupo’s MCI exterior range would be perfect for what they were trying to achieve.”
“The pavilion seems to levitate on site like its defying gravity,” added Javier Aznarez, lighting designer and architect at SEAM Design. “Illumination at the base, through SmartLedFlex, enhances the idea of floating by making the pavilion lighter. Once inside, the curved shape connects the visitors with the sky by hiding the horizon as if the pavilion and the sky were continuous. Linear Flex guides the visitors to the ends where the lighting continues the curve and extends the interior space into the sky.”
“The Smile is about simplicity and weightlessness. The lighting feeds this concept by casting light alongs the ground where the pavilion touches the ground erasing the gravity of its mass,” said Emory Smith, Director of SEAM Design.
The lighting fills the interior volume with a warm luminous glow. All of these are accomplished with simple LED lines with Linear Flex – simultaneously minimalist and geometric and seamlessly integrated. “The end result is like a lantern in the landscape, an intimate interior space luring people to come in,” added Smith. “Climbing the gently curving slope if the interior you approach the end walls where a glass balustrade extends views out but simultaneously reflects line of light, which appear to vanish into the space above the square.”
CREDITS & PARTNERS
Text by Mondo Arc · www.mondoarc.com
Alison Brooks Architects · www.alisonbrooksarchitects.com
Seam Design · www.seam-design.com
American Hardwood Export Council · www.americanhardwood.org
Arup · www.arup.com
Atrium · ww.atrium.ltd.uk
The London Design Festival · www.londondesignfestival.com/smile
Züblin · www.zueblin.de
University of the Arts London ·www.arts.ac.uk