Xtra Moenia New York, NY 2010
Xtra Moenia is a site specific installation designed and produced by SOFTlab for the San Gennaro North Gate. The piece was commissioned by Two Bridges Neighborhood Council and produced by The They Co. The piece serves as the North Gate to the annual San Gennaro Festival. We developed a form that created out of two distinct oculi as a reference to one of the simplest and most effective classical architecture devices. One oculus points up while the other hangs down defining a zone on the street for pedestrians. The two forms are created using a minimal surface blending the two oculi together in a way that blurs the distinction between the two. The final geometry was developed closely with the structural engineering firm Arup. The piece is completely held in tension from cables attached to the surrounding buildings. The shape is completely site specific and can only find its true form when attached at these specific points and tensioned with the proper lengths. Each piece is unique requiring custom software tools to be developed to fabricate the installation.
The installation is made of 4224 laser cut panels. Each panel is a unique shape and printed with a custom color. The panels are connected using over 6,000 aluminum grommets. The shape is held in complete tension using a complex system of cables and tubes attached to the surrounding buildings.