DDi - June 2012 - (Page 48)
48 | Right Light
Photos: Oleg March
Fractal LEDs bring the ceiling to life at Innuendo restaurant
By Vilma Barr
n bygone eras, ceilings in grand palaces and cathedrals were covered with remarkable examples of artistic expression and craftsmanship. In today’s typical buildings, ceilings have assumed primarily a functional role as surfaces for recessed or suspended lighting fixtures. However, ceilings still can play an important design role in contemporary interiors, according to architect Antonio Di Oronzo of New York-based Bluarch architecture+interiors+ligh ting. His dramatic, multidimensional, organic ceiling formations have gained recognition for their originality and dynamics. In several of the firm’s recently completed projects, the ceiling is a dominant visual element that combines lighting technology with 3-D geometry for a unique effect. Di Oronzo’s latest installation combines fractal geometry and LED lighting at Innuendo restaurant in Port Washington, N.Y., an upperincome community on Long Island’s North Shore. The basic storefront location on the town’s Main Street previously was occupied by another restaurant before the current operators
took over and retained Bluarch to create a new 3-D image. The interpretation is a structure within a structure. A floating, light-diffusing shape hovers 1,500 sq. ft. above the dining room and bar. From the entry, the view opens to an integrated color-changing geometric wood cloud that extends cross the ceiling and down the wall behind the bar. Di Oronzo was inspired by fractal geometry, a concept first introduced in the mid-’70s by mathematician Benoit Mandelbrot, who espoused the theory of a detailed pattern repeating itself. “In fractal geometry, the parts of a geometry are always the same, regardless of their scale,” Di Oronzo explains. The design team created every layer of the ceiling with 6-in. cubes as the basic unit, using the computer design programs Rhino and Autodesk 3ds Max. Brooklyn, N.Y.-based Interiors Palace fabricated the poplar wood cubes in 1-in.by-6-in. lengths. Prior to installation, they were preassembled with small metal fasteners into the final cube shapes.
Groupings of the cubes in fractal formations are suspended in heights from 8 ft. to 12 ft. above the restaurant’s floor. An LED lighting system enhances the formation’s illusion of suspension above the diners, and is viewable from the street through Innuendo’s frameless storefront. To create the color-changing sequences, recessed fixtures containing 60-degree RGB 5-watt MR16 LED lamps fitted with DMX controllers are placed at ceiling height above the angular cloud, creating points of color and shadow throughout the dining room. “We programmed the control system so that it could change at a fixed rate, or by a custom setting, or a single color could be retained for any length of time, depending on the environmental effect the restaurant’s managers wish to create,” Di Oronzo says. Black-painted wood dining tables and chairs contrast against the expanse of illumination overhead. And another benefit of the cloud ceiling? In addition to lighting the space beautifully, it also helps absorb sound in the high-ceilinged space.
To e-mail this article, visit www.ddionline.com/magazine.
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of DDi - June 2012
DDi - June 2012
Table of Contents
From the Editor
From the Show Director
Behind the Scenes: Anthropologie windows
Channel Focus: Lifestyle Store
Shopping with Paco
DDi - June 2012