Light and Space Intervention

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Light and Space, an ephemeral intervention in Aldo van Eyck’s 1960 Orphanage building in Amsterdam

Light and Space is an ephemeral intervention in Aldo van Eyck‘s famous Orphanage building of 1960, installed as part of a group exhibition of work by the Berlage Institute graduating class of 1995 (curator: Petra Blaisse). The intention was, on the one hand, to temporarily transform the Berlage Institute’s lounge in preparation for a festive occasion, while on the other hand I also wanted to call attention to the rings of skylights that punctuate the larger domes of this seminal work of Structuralism, which in reality are lenses that ‘enlarge’ the light-beams passing through them. These ‘skylenses’ are just one of many fascinating but subtle details that van Eyck developed, yet their effect is hardly perceptible under ‘normal’ conditions. When the color of the light passing through them is transformed –in this case to red– the optical effect of these lenses can be appreciated more fully. I used red gel (the kind used in theatrical lighting) adhered on the flat exterior side of the skylights –the interior side is curved– to transform the color.

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About Rafael Gomez-Moriana

I am an architect, writer and educator. rafagomo.com chronicles my architectural making, writing, teaching and curating activity, while criticalista.com is an archive of my writings as well as a platform for venting personal rants and observations. I studied architecture at the University of Waterloo (Canada) and at the Berlage Institute (the Netherlands). I direct the University of Calgary’s architecture term-abroad program in Barcelona, and have previously taught in the Metropolis Masters Program in Architecture and Urban Culture, CIEE Architecture and Design program, as well as at Carleton University and the University of Manitoba.

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