We were commissioned to create an artwork as part of the renovation of the lobby at Wells Fargo Capital Center located at 150 Fayetteville in Raleigh, North Carolina.
The new lobby design by Gensler updated the public space of the building to a more modern and clean interior. The building occupies most of the block and the lobby connects Fayetteville to South Salisbury Street. While the new lobby has a fairly neutral palette, the elevator bank that connects to two main entrances is clad in copper backed glass panels to give the core of the new public space a warmer and more vibrant quality.
Our piece, Grotta Aeris, is a crystalline structure that is clad in copper finished composite panels so it becomes an extension of the central elevator bank. The form is driven by the same mathematical formulas found in nature, giving it both the appearance that has grown out of the elevator core, or that the elevator core was carved out of a grotto-like formation. The piece spans from the floor to the ceiling and frames the main entrance to the elevators. Its size, form, and prominence in the space could give it a quite heavy feel. The piece is made to feel lighter by backlighting it with a subtly changing animation. The lighting is exposed through the seams of the panels breaking down the crystal-like formation and inverting its solidness through what appears to be cracks. The subtle changes in the lighting give what appears to be an inert rocky structure a quality that it is alive or undergoing a slow chemical reaction. The polished copper along with the changing light constantly reflects and redirects the movement of people through the lobby in unexpected ways.
Photos: Alan Tansey