Leading Lights, 2018
Golden Triangle District, Washington DC
2018, Dichroic Glass and Steel Leading Lights is a colonnade of 34 dichroic glass and steel columns, lining both sides of the 21st block of K Street in Washington DC’s Golden Triangle District. The columns are luminous jewels of transparent color, always changing. The dichroic glass surfaces reflect the surroundings through a veil of color. When sunlight strikes the glass surface, brilliant colored bands are projected onto the ground, so the artwork engages a much broader area beyond its’ physical boundaries. From some angles they almost disappear before our position or the light shifts and they reemerge as beacons.
It is this ghostly, ‘there-not-there’ quality that speaks of the sophistication and elegance of the Golden Triangle area of Washington DC, where they are to be installed. As cars emerge from the underpass below these columns embrace them as they rise up through gateway. Visible from all the surrounding buildings and from all viewpoints, they create a cohesive place in what before was an ill-defined, non place. Each column is fixed at a rotation that is slightly different so different facets of the triangle are exposed in a slightly different way to the angles of light. At night these columns become delicately colored lanterns as solar powered lights installed in the cap come on at dusk.
The Golden Triangle symbol expresses the open possibilities of this dynamic area, so it was to take this contemporary vision and apply it to columns and bring color, light and animation to this site. The visual language of the Golden Triangle District as well as the greater DC area is one of grand boulevards with rhythmic repeated verticals whether lines of trees along streets or architectural columns on facades of buildings inspired this concept for LEADING LIGHTS as we are re-imagining that traditional vocabulary in contemporary materials and form.