Brief To red-define the identity of a contemporary "chandelier" in red glass, suspended from the black granite-lined lobby's two-level high ceiling, bearing significant presence and acting as a warm beacon within the space.
Keeping in mind the lobby's hard, dark stone walls, 21 ft high ceilings, and an immediate expanse of the waterfront, we thought it appropriate that the object be monumental yet seemingly light; warm yet uplifting. A beacon but removed from traditional forms of the luminary. The identity of a "chandelier" was, thus, up for re-definition.
Like petals carried by the wind...
We proposed upto 7 illuminated and suspended sculptures that would mark the lobby space and lead to the the mezzanine level. The lobby's tall air-space would be treated as a gallery inhabited by an art installation, accessible from below (lobby / reception) upto eye level (bar / lounge at mezzanine). The scale of this "chandelier" would be in relation to the human body, and its contours would embody complex simplicity.
Since the architects used Mahabalipuram's historic style of architecture to build the resort, and principles of the Golden Mean to articulate spatial configurations within , we too, used the Golden Ratio as a guide in developing the form of our "petals".... or, air planes.... Each glass "airplane" was made up of 15 triangular, curved, panels based on the phi ratio. The object, made from Czech glass, runs amber red in colour by manipulating glass thickness, and orientation. Additionally, the panels, based on direction of point, were stained deep red to accentuate colour effects.
Each panel of glass in the sculpture is laminated for safety. Panels are joined using custom-fabricated spider fittings that can change angle of joint. This enables us to compose each of the 7 sculptures into different forms using the same glass panels. Each glowing airplane is suspended from the ceiling using 30 steel cables to create a marvellous tensile structure.
The conventional chandelier is transformed into a unique sculptural entity, 5 of them, each different and unique in form and orientation, suspended in tension and appearing to float through the space of the lobby. The lobby, in turn, is transformed into a gallery of sorts, both contemplative and engaging; a comfortable and novel social space.