Cedar Point Reeds is a robotic, kinetic art sculpture that visualizes the real-time wind movements and energy production at the Cedar Point Wind Farm that resides east of Denver, CO. The sculpture responds in real-time as the wind changes speed and direction at the actual farm. In addition to this data visualization, the piece is also interactive. Up to 50 people can stand around the piece and watch as the Reeds gather in front of you and follow your movements. The sculpture was entirely conceived and engineered by BREAKFAST, an art studio based in Brooklyn.
Architizer chatted with Andrew Zolty, Artist and Co-Founder of BREAKFAST, to learn more about this project.
Architizer: What inspired the initial concept for your design?
Zolty: We wanted to create an artwork that told an important story that could also be mesmerizing to those passing by the lobby it resided in.
Climate change and nature have been at the center of many of our works, and we fell in love with the image of wind moving through tall grass combined with the glow of LEDs to represent the power that wind generates.
What do you believe is the most unique or ‘standout’ component of the project?
What sets this piece apart is the marriage of the organic and silent kinetic movement with the synchronized illumination. Watching this piece at night is truly something special.
What was the greatest design challenge you faced during the project, and how did you navigate it?
A point of pride we take in our artworks is their silent movement. People anticipate a piece like this to make a lot of noise due to the 400 motors and are often amazed to find that there is no noise at all. We re-engineered the components many times over to rid the piece of even the smallest sounds.
How did the context of your project — environmental, social or cultural — influence your design?
All of our design decisions stem from trying to take robotic elements and make them move in an organic way. Our goal was to take rigid, geometric elements and make them feel like lightweight grasses in the wind.
In what ways did you collaborate with others, and how did that add value to the project?
We worked closely with Gensler and MARS in determining the best way to integrate the artwork into the lobby. This allowed us to work the piece structurally into the space, allow the marble floor to match up perfectly to the outer edges, and run up the sides of the piece.
How have your clients responded to the finished project?
In the words of the client, “The whole thing is a home run!”
What key lesson did you learn in the process of conceiving the project?
That a sculpture commissioned by a private developer for their lobby can become an iconic artwork for an entire city.
How do you believe this project represents you or your firm as a whole?
The goal of our work is to both mesmerize while also bringing attention to important current events and topics.
Andrew Zolty, Mattias Gunneras, Andrew Laska, Michael Fazio, Andy Thompson, Andrew McIntyre
For more on Cedar Point Reeds, please visit the in-depth project page on Architizer.
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