By Beverly Pereira
Photography: Courtesy Orproject
An installation at the Delhi Duty Free in the Indira Gandhi International Airport’s departure terminal draws inspiration from the surging waters of the sea...
Simulating the sea’s captivating rise and ebb, choreographed between the forces of gravity and thermal current, Lehar undulates in a rhythmic motion of colour and light; its surging form developed using custom-written algorithms.
Orproject, an architecture and design practice with a presence in Beijing, London and New Delhi is reputed for its experimentation with geometric lines. The team, including project architect Rajat Sodhi, has conceptualized Lehar as an unobtrusive, yet commanding entity that captures and creates multiple reflections and refractions of light that translates as a decomposition of sunlight into colours of 21st century India.
Constructed from 2mm-thick cast acrylic panels, which have been laser-cut into sheets and coated with dichroic film, the 750 sq. ft. Lehar hangs 2 ft below a 10 ft.low plasterboard false ceiling, suspended securely on custom L-shaped aluminium plates that are screw-bolted into the plasterboard substrate.
At a net weight of 240 kg, Lehar hangs heavy above shoppers. Constructed from 180 segments, the weight of the installation is evenly distributed amongst each segment that weighs approximately 1.5 kg. Each of the 180 segments hangs from three points, while the entire installation is suspended from a total of 540 points with supporting points weighing 500 gms, each. The segments are laser-cut to accommodate attachment details and slots for other sheets to cross through.
Since dichroic sheets require a gradient in ambient light conditions for optimal colour effects, the light fixtures on the ceiling are repositioned to create a gradient between brightly lit areas and dark zones. This allows for the colours to literally pop out and change as the viewer walks around the store.
The resulting ephemeral volume resembles a cloud of colour and light that floats over the retail environment, creating an identity visible from a distance yet, unobtrusive to the sales experience.