Pittsburgh, PA
Jakob Marsico
Fall 2018

In collaboration with: Paggy Zhu, Matt Prindible, Wonjae Kim

Our response to the RFP from Pittsburgh International Airport is a site-specific intervention which latches on to and reimagines the structural system in a creative way—activating the space through natural and artificial light. We found the most interesting architectural element to be the slits in the roof corresponding to the iconic trusses that span the Great Hall and support the arched roof. These skylights are really a fascinating formal piece, but due to their orientation they produce an enormous amount of glare (pictured below), the recent renovation included a high-gloss floor that made the problem worse. In order to create a relaxing space, our installation aims to activates the space at night,  and solve this environmental issue during the day as well.

The installation itself consists of a secondary formwork that attaches to the existing structural truss and reimagines its outward formal appearance. The external structure is covered in translucent fabric, which diffuses the light of the LED's attached on the interior into a pleasant, calming display of gradient color.

The generative animation is a figural representative of a sunset, travelling across the slit from east to west. The installation recreates the consistently stunning Pittsburgh sunsets and extends their life throughout the night, so that all travelers can experience the calming and meditative effect of watching the sun set. The colors of the animation were carefully chosen through testing of the manifestation of the RGB values on our difficultprogrammable LEDs.

Instead of using the lighting to catch people's attention with rapidly shifting colors, we opted for a more subtle approach. The unorthodox formwork will unobtrusively cause people to look up, and appreciate the slow meditative effect of the light on the piece.

See the full gallery post here.