Two liquid crystal tile windows transform 605 3rd Avenue’s lobby into an immersive art installation.

While undertaking a $25 million lobby renovation of 605 3rd Avenue in Midtown Manhattan, Fisher Brothers wanted a digital media artwork to set their building apart. Having seen Patterned by Nature, the architects on the project, Rockwell Group, reached out to Patten Studio and Hypersonic to create a permanent art installation.

The resulting 15’ by 15’ liquid crystal mosaics turn the interior of 605 3rd Avenue’s lobby into an immersive kaleidoscope. The hanging sculptures’ 900 liquid crystal tiles vary in opacity to create patterns. During the day, the shadows cast by the liquid crystal tiles inside the lobby create animations by filtering incoming sunlight. At night, the animations are visible from the street as the sculpture’s liquid crystal elements interact with the interior lobby lighting. Patten Studio worked on the embedded software development, electronics design, and fabrication for these artworks.

The sculptures’ liquid crystal elements are capable of displaying 256 different monochromatic shades, ranging from clear to black. In addition to filtering natural and unnatural light, they are responsive to wind and capable of displaying computer generated patterns. The artwork itself consumes less than 40 watts, less than one LED light bulb for each of its two panels.

Since completing the renovation, prestigious corporate tenants from a diverse set of industries have signed long-term leases at 605 3rd Avenue. Ken Fisher of Fisher Brothers commented that “our leasing successes are a testament to the enduring strength of Midtown and a validation of our efforts to modernize the property through the lobby renovation.” Upon its renovation, the building was certified LEED Gold by the U.S. Green Building Council for its sustainability.

Patten Studio
Electronics Design, Software Engineering
  • Fisher Brothers
  • Hypersonic
    Mechanical Design, Assembly, Installation
  • Rockwell Group
  • The Lab at Rockwell Group
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