Coney Island Parachute Jump agosto 9, 2010Posted by christian saucedo in Illumination of structures.
Tags: Illumination of structures, Illumination of structures- Auto active
Tipo. Iluminación de estructuras – autoactiva
Autor. Leni Schwendinger
Autor instalación. Leni Schwendinger Light Projects
Edificio. Coney Island Parachute Jump
Ciudad. Brooklyn, NY
For anyone who remembers the Parachute Jump’s decay over the years since Coney Island’s Steeplechase Park closed in 1964, Leni Schwendinger’s lighting scheme signals the start of a whole new life for the 277-foot steel tower. With the flip of a switch, the world’s most famous retired amusement ride added “public art project” to its impressive resume: 1939 New York World’s Fair attraction, Steeplechase Park’s sole survivor, New York City landmark, Brooklyn’s Eiffel Tower, symbol of Coney Island’s revitalization.
The illumination caps a $5 million structural refurbishment of the city-owned tower by engineers and architects from STV that began in 2002. The team had to dismantle the structure to work on lead paint abatement before using specially formulated paint to restore the Jump’s landmark colors of red and yellow and to protect it from the elements. When Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz’s idea of returning the ride to operation proved too costly (an estimated $40 million, according to his office), STV commissioned Leni Schwendinger Light Projects to illuminate the tower.
Calling it “a luminous leap for Brooklyn” at the July 7 premiere, Markowitz said, “The Parachute Jump will be a beacon of light for this and future generations, harking and heralding Coney Island as a place where legends are made and dreams come true.” The initial “light performance” previewed six different electronically programmed sequences themed to the season (on-season weekday and weekend, off-season), special occasion (“Americana” and “Kaleidoscope”) and lunar cycle (full moon, waxing and waning moon). Recently we talked with Schwendinger about the aesthetic and technical challenges of the project, the public reaction, and future possibilities for the Jump.
Lighting systems include color-changing floodlights and custom-designed light emitting diodes (LED). Brightly sparkling LEDs, defining the canopy of the tower and the tower itself, are programmed to animate a calendar of sequences, playing nightly to identify on-and-off boardwalk seasons, full-moon cycles and holidays.