As the largest electric power holding company in the U.S., Duke Energy invests heavily in renewable energy and believes in making the world a greener place. It also helped make it a more beautiful one by commissioning a massive public art installation on the exterior of one of its buildings in Charlotte, N.C.
“Quadrille” is an 80-foot-square, multi-layered holographic and computer-controlled neon sculpture, located 200 feet high on the south wall of the building, visible to commuters and from Bank of America Panther stadium. Designed by Michael Hayden, who is perhaps best known for “Sky’s the Limit,” the animated, neon ceiling art over the United Airlines underground walkway at O’Hare International Airport, Quadrille is certain to draw the attention of passersby.
Fabricated in four layers, the base contains 1,000 feet of articulated, holographic mirrorized grating, laminated onto two-foot aluminum blades. During daylight hours, if the viewer is walking or driving, the sculpture will reflect prismatic rainbows at the same rate of speed as the observer’s pace. By night, 53 neon elements programmed in hundreds of distinct random animations flash red, yellow, blue, and green in staccato rhythms. The linear puzzles build gradually from the center or corners in partial vectors, then accelerate and spin in brilliant configurations until completely illuminated.
Hayden collaborated with electronics engineer Guy Marsden, Rebekah Younger, and Milton Komisar to program the complex displays for the project.
Go to bit.ly/1PPszef to see a video of this installation.