Light Cycles at the Winter Garden - CODAworx

Light Cycles at the Winter Garden

Submitted by Vortex Lighting

Client: Arts at Brookfield Properties

Location: New York, NY, United States

Completion date: 2014

Artwork budget: $120,000

Project Team


Anne Militello

Vortex Lighting


Ryan O'Gara

Programmer and Assistant

Industry Resource

Kelly Easterling

4Wall Systems Entertainment


Floating 10 stories high above the impressive glass atrium, strings of glittering “stars” dance gently, illuminating the facade and it’s surrounding area with shifting colored light. This luminous installation was intended to warm the winter nights, bathing the area in vibrant jewel toned colors and patterns inspired by natural luminous phenomena. Various lengths of strings spanning up 100′ which hold a total of 130 LED discs in 3 sizes were hung in several planes on the interior atrium. These were individually programmed for unique nightly movements or “light symphonies” composed by the artist/designer.


The interior side of the discs are backed with acrylic mirror which sometime appear transparent, depending on the viewers movement in the space. The enclosures of the discs were painted the same color of the atrium steel in order to integrate seamlessly with the architecture. Simple hanging gear and lightweight construction make the discs float without disrupting the lines of the architecture, and allow the client to easily remove and re-install when desired. The mirror surface creates crystalline points of light which skip across the interior plaza from the moving sun, keeping the piece active both day and night. The side of the discs facing the window are covered with custom RGB LED light panels, which send light through the windows and also reflect back into the space from the reflective coating on the glass, allowing for it to be appreciated from both inside and out. The illumination of the exterior plaza and the reflection of the piece in the Hudson River make for a striking view on and across the water in the foreground of the new One World Trade Center.


In this project the artist and designer were the same person. The Client, an arts initiative dedicated to invigorating public spaces, was a partner collaborator with excellent support, planning, engineering and supervision of the installation and maintenance of the piece. The artist/designer worked closely with the client, custom manufacturer, engineers and programmers which helped bring this project to light.

Additional Information

The generosity and support of the Client, the tireless dedication of the installation team, and the reception of the piece by the public make this a truly special piece. The residents in the nearby apartments, the office inhabitants of the World Financial Center and World Trade Centers, and commuters have welcomed this piece. Even tourists have made it a destination. Light can tell a story. And when created with intention, people are drawn to it and love to linger in it.