'Lumen' at MoMA PS1

John Hill
21. July 2017
All photographs by John Hill/World-Architects

Late last month Jenny Sabin Studio's Lumen opened at MoMA PS1 in Long Island City, Queens. World-Architects visited today to get some impressions of the 2017 YAP installation.

As described upon the opening of the Young Architects Program (YAP) winner, "Lumen is made of over one million yards of digitally knitted and robotically woven fiber. During the day the installation appears white, but color is embedded in some of the knitted panels, a fact made most dramatic in the evening when the canopy is awash in color that is accentuated by special lighting." Today's visit was in the middle of the day – a particularly hot and sunny day.

The canopy of photo-luminescent and solar active yarns sit at about the height of the concrete walls that define the courtyard.
Stepping into the courtyard, the canopy provides more shade than anticipated, given the sizable holes in the center of each panel.
The shade is most pronounced in the center of the larger of the two courtyards, where a clump of "stalactites" droop toward the ground.

The canopy's shade provides some cooling, but not as much as the mist emanating from some of the stalactites:


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Small doses of color, such as the pink in the top-left corner, appear amongst the primarily white canopy.
The leaning steel masts and tension rings that are the primary supports for the canopy (along with attachments to the concrete walls) attract as much attention as the fabric overhead.
The installation occupies two parts of the MoMA PS1 courtyard.

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