New permanent installation at Georgia Tech promotes safety and art – WABE
A new installation promoting art and safety is on permanent display at the Crosland Tower on the Georgia Tech campus. Tristan Al-Haddad, professor at Georgia Tech’s School of Architecture and owner of Studio Training, was commissioned to create the Crosland Chroma Project. The facility surrounding Crossland’s seventh-floor terraces was designed for aesthetic and safety reasons. Al-Haddad joined “City Lights” host Lois Reitzes via Zoom to explain how her team’s latest creation serves her space in form and function.
A field in balance between art and engineering:
“My whole life, my whole career has been a balancing act between what I would call the technical and the conceptual, and so often we find those two camps not really aligned, and sometimes not even in dialogue,” Al-Haddad said. “In the end, ideas without materiality are just ideas. And that’s fine too, but the way we work and what we’re really looking for is material expression, material actualization of the idea, and so that requires this kind of constant dialogue between conceptual ideas , aesthetic intent, perceptual intent and the technical realities of fabrication; the material world of physics, wind, gravity, all of those things.
“The piece, ‘Crosland Chroma’, I describe as the darling of public art and public safety,” Al-Haddad continued. “The piece is meant to be really a perceptual piece, an abstract perceptual piece meant to be experienced, meant to be felt. It’s meant to bring a kind of playful enjoyment… and bodily experience to being on the terraces, and feeling the how the light and views are constantly changing.
A visual metaphor expressed by the diffraction of light:
“The part is made up of 192 what would be called ‘dichroic polycarbonate’ fins that twist 90 degrees from bottom to top,” Al-Haddad explained. “This dichroic material takes…pure sunlight and breaks it down into a color spectrum. So conceptually what the article does is it talks about “How do we get such an incredible range of diverse ideas from the idea of the library as a body of knowledge?”
He continued, “If light is the body of knowledge, then this spectral experience is really the diversity of ideas that is captured in the library. And beyond that, the university itself – that we have such a diverse thinking, such a diverse student body and faculty population, so it really becomes a representation of the diversity of the library and the university in his outfit.
How “Crossland Chroma” provides safety while preserving sight:
“The room is on the seventh floor of the Crosland Tower, which is part of Georgia Tech’s central library, and it’s about a hundred feet above the ground, so obviously there are security issues that people And so the way it works, it actually has to work as a code-compliant railing.
“These dichroic polycarbonate fins are aligned and create a sort of continuous plane up to about 42 inches above the finished floor of the terraces…By the time they come to the top, they are perpendicular,” Al-Haddad said. . “Not only does it create this kind of spectral range that we get when light passes through these little nanotech prisms that you can’t really see… It’s a continuous plane, and the fence twists 90 degrees to open up, almost to dissolve visually, and to allow the view of Midtown because there really is a spectacular view of Midtown and Downtown.”
To learn more about the Crosland Chroma Project at the Georgia Tech Campus Library, go to www.library.gatech.edu/news/crosland-chroma-project-coming-soon.