Colour changing car park artwork morphs as you move around it

Interesting Engineering

Artworks on a large scale have become very popular and Rob Ley is among the latest to jump onto the bandwagon with his huge car park façade that changes colour depending on where the person is viewing it from. In short, the colour changing car park can morph as you move around it.


[Image Source: Urbana]

Ley owns his own Urbana architecture and design studio which he founded it in 2002 and he creates artwork and sculptures for public spaces and buildings. He recently completed his May to September installation which is located on the side of the Indianapolis Eskenazi Hospital multi-story car-park.


[Image Source: Urbana]

His company was commissioned to design and then install the artwork and in total it uses 7,000 panels of metal which have been placed at different angles and which have been painted with a different colour on each of their sides. When the viewer walks from one end to the other of the car park, the wall changes colour from a deep golden yellow to deep blue and back again when walking back the other way. The whole of the car park wall changes colour.


[Image Source: Urbana]

"We developed the concept, which began initially as an idea stemming from active camouflage techniques, and then worked through the design development drawings," Ley explains. "Camouflage was conceptually interesting to me initially, as the main purpose of the facade was to provide an intense visual screen for what is otherwise an ordinary parking structure. As the project progressed, the interest in camouflage evolved into an approach that would create a very large dynamic, interactive element for the city."

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The designer wanted to make the artwork without any parts that actually move so as to avoid issues with maintenance. He designed the project based on the fact that people would be moving past the structure, either by walking or travelling by car.

"We worked on the design and built physical mock-ups in our studio for about six months," he says. "As you might imagine, software became hugely important, and we even had to write some software on our own to helps us create the final effect."


[Image Source: Urbana]

He made 18 different panels which varied in size and angle, ranging from 300 x 600mm to 300 x 100mm. The panels that were facing to the west were painted with deep blue and those panels facing the east side were given a coating of golden yellow. When they are seen from different angles they offer an illusion of having different hues; this effect is down to the peripheral vision of the person viewing it.


[Image Source: Urbana]

The artwork installation measures a total of 18.5 metres by 75 metres and while its main use was as a piece of artwork on a large scale it does act as a screen for the car park and hides the guardrails, concrete beams and columns.

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