Lam Partners was asked to submit a concept for an upcoming Boston Globe article seeking creative, temporary lighting installations to spruce up four stalled construction sites throughout Boston. We chose to undertake the former Filene’s site, located right in the middle of Downtown Crossing.
To celebrate the urban basin that has been created by the construction process, we proposed draping a series of super-sized LED video screens over the exposed steel.
Using rental equipment often used on concert tours, we would create a dramatic digital canvas of large fabric drapes with integrated LED video pixels, which can be quickly hung off the steel structure. Color-changing LED floodlights would accent the remaining structure.
A variety of stunning digital compositions could be shown, including massive ten-story-high waterfalls. Local artists could be commissioned to produce animations reflecting the spirit of Downtown Crossing.
Our concept is based on LED curtains from a company called Main Light. Main Light takes LED strings from Color Kinetics (which actually used to be located right in Downtown Crossing) and integrates them into the “fabric” curtains for rock concerts and events. They could be quickly hung from the steel frame of the building. So, surprisingly given the dramatic effect, the concept is actually quite realistic to accomplish.
Our proposal suggests installation-specific advertising, which could be readily sold to compensate for the cost of the project. Macy’s, DSW, and H&M all run major national advertising campaigns, and each has a location flanking the site. It is easy to imagine the creative possibilities – each company could use the screens for really unique advertising. How about the waterfalls turn into a cascade of shoes for DSW? Or maybe Macy’s or H&M engage with an artist like Julian Opie for ten-story-tall “walking people” animations?
We estimate that the cost of a four-week-long installation could range from $350,000 to $650,000, depending on the quantity and the resolution of the screens used.
Image Credits: Brad Koerner / Lam Partners Inc (1), Main Light Industries Inc. (2-4)