Southstar Lofts: Bringing Light & Color to Life

If you’re planning a trip to Philadelphia and you want to experience art, culture, and the best that the city has to offer, South Broad Street, more commonly known as the “Avenue of the Arts” is the place to go. Favored by locals and tourists, the Avenue is home to some of Philadelphia’s best performance venues, luxury hotels, world-class eateries and high-end residences.

In 2013, construction began on a new high-end residence along the Avenue. Designed as a mixed-use property, Southstar Lofts features 85 luxury apartments and a street level commercial space. Built by local developer, Dranoff Properties, the project aimed to promote the Avenue as a premiere destination, while attracting new residents and businesses to the area. To achieve this, Dranoff wanted to incorporate public art into the project. “The Avenue of the Arts is one of Philadelphia’s liveliest, most flourishing neighborhoods, and we were looking for a work of art that would showcase the streets’ vibrancy, and compliment the aesthetics of Southstar Lofts,” explains Dranoff.

To bring their vision to life, the developers enlisted the help of well-known public art specialists, Mags Harries and Lajos Heder. The artists created a piece that would use light and color to compliment the architecture and create a memorable experience for those walking along the sidewalk. Thus, “LightPlay” was born, a structure made of steel, solar panels, lights and dichroic glass.

LightPlay is comprised of two sections: dichroic glass panels installed vertically up the face of the building and a dichroic glass canopy covering the stairway to the subway station below. “Working with light and shadow insures that the piece will be constantly changing, surprising and remain fresh,” explains Lajos Heder. Goldray’s dichroic glass was the ideal material for this installation, as it exhibits a brilliant color shift when viewed at different angles, creating the feel of movement. The panels create a stunning array of colors that are cast into the surrounding environment – across the building, onto the sidewalk, and even onto passersby. At night, LightPlay takes on a new look, as solar powered LEDs reflect onto the dichroic glass, for a completely different light and color effect. The completed piece strikes a balance between attention-grabbing art and high-end luxury, making it the perfect compliment to Southstar Lofts.

Goldray Glass was thrilled to have been a part of bringing this public art project to life and we continue to work on many exciting public art projects throughout North America. Check out this dichroic glass fish that we recently completed at the Tsawassen Mills mall in Vancouver, BC. For more design inspiration, please join us on Instagram,  FacebookLinkedIn or Twitter where we regularly post project pictures and case studies as we build our community of industry professionals.  If you’d like to work with a member of our team, please call us at 1-800-640-3709 or email us at info@goldrayglass.com and we’d be more than happy to assist you with your next design.