Just before Christmas, we completed our largest and most complex installation to date. We are now emerging from our new year’s slothdom to announce that the Noble House Sculpture is airborne!
In his more aspirational and caffeinated moments, Nikolas has said that he wants to “build glass sculptures big enough to talk to buildings.” Well, this time he definitely did not fall short of the mark. The largest single element was bigger than an eighteen-wheeler, so the entire glasswork had to be built onsite at the same time that it was being installed. The glasswork is comprised of eight panels that appear to peel off the wall and float through the lobby of this premier office tower in Jakarta. And what was large was also complex; the rigging for this installation was a crazy web of ropes, cables, and pulleys that criss-crossed between ascendant panels and their connections on the ceiling. Like chess, this interwoven system was particularly challenging because one had to predict how early moves would impact subsequent aerial mobility as the lobby slowly filled with a nearly invisible network of suspension. Add to this the fact that the glasswork was in a notorious seismic zone and the requirements of this system could only be worked out in a robust computer model. In concert with Arup Engineers, it was used to simulate and refine how the glasswork responded to earthquakes as well to explore differently phased hoisting configurations. And even then, some problems could only be sorted out in a boom lift… forty feet in the air… that took an hour to thread through a sea of cables you could barely see.