The Fort Port Channel neighborhood in Boston, Massachusetts, USA, is an urban atmosphere designed to foster collaboration and entrepreneurship. The area is home to the innovation and arts districts, where professionals make developments in business, technology, and the arts on a daily basis. To encourage creativity and forward thinking, the architecture incorporates modern design and advanced technology. The Channel Center Garage was built to illuminate the artistic district of Boston with a dynamic LED lighting system, as buildings in the Fort Point Channel are required to have innovative design.
CV Properties, LLC commissioned Spalding Tougias Architects, Inc., (STA), to create a garage that would serve the neighborhood need for parking while reflecting the nature of the arts district. STA proposed placing a metal scrim over a concrete structure that would function as a canvas for a public art installation through a creative lighting system. Working with a creative design team composed of neighborhood graphic artist Joanne Kaliontzis, lighting designer, Available Light, and technical assistance from signage company Bunting Graphics, the team conceived and executed a colorful, intelligent lighting solution to transform the simple concrete structure with a bright design appropriate for Boston's art district.
With a lighting solution from Color Kinetics, the design team was able to enliven the scrim and create a backdrop for a new urban park. ColorGraze MX Powercore luminaires (now specified with ColorGraze IntelliHue Powercore
) and iColor Flex LMX nodes (now specificed with Flex Compact gen3, RGB) were installed on all four of the garage façades. The design team developed architectural integration details to seamlessly marry the lighting with the perforated and painted aluminum panels.
When conceiving this artistic project, energy efficiency was a critical consideration for the design team. "We needed a lighting solution that had color, flexibility, energy efficiency, and excellent light control," said Gregg Spalding, project architect. "Early technical assistance from Color Kinetics and the functionality of the lighting system played an important factor in selecting Color Kinetics."
Bringing together energy efficiency, dynamic lighting, and a new space for community art, the Channel Center Garage is the newest addition to a vibrant district.