Grand Center News

New ART Installation in Grand Center

Grand Center has a new public art installation! ART at Grand Center is an interactive illuminated metal sculpture located near Strauss Park on the side of the 3526 Washington Building, proving that art can truly be everywhere. Learn more about the installation as discussed by the Vision and Installation Designer, Jasmin Aber, below.


Project Narrative by Jasmin Aber

Lighting, new media and Interactivity has become a tool to create powerful places. The light promises extension of time, extension of entertainment, and extension of participation and when a building is lit up, it can create an iconic presence. The intention of this project is to emphasize the importance of art, performance, architecture and creativity as catalyst in the city of St. Louis. Lighting will be used as a means to create an ephemeral type of architectural experience, which keeps regenerating itself through public participation. The image of the building will never be constant. Depending on night or day, depending on the force of light, color of light or the way lighting is programmed, the architecture will keep changing.

We have created a LED light installation that will be applied on the facade of the building. ART as a sign and as a message will embrace the building. ART and the architecture will be united as one piece of installation. At nighttime the neon letters illuminate the building and emphasize on the ever-changing nature of art and archtecture. Shadow is also a crucial feature of the sculpture of ART. The shadows of the metals will move and fluctuate during the day in a different manner than it does at night when illuminated.

Since we are constantly reinventing spaces in our imagination based on our perception of the physical world, the word ART can also allow the imagination to enter into an endless experimental realm of wonder. The definition of ART is ambiguous and abstract; therefore, it can be open for interpretation. ART is also a transnational concept that keeps revitalizing itself according to time and place.

As a way of activating the building on site and also the public space around it, there are many vantage points to view and experience the sculpture. The fascinating experience that is created is that the sculpture can look very literal from one viewpoint and extremely abstract from another. It is also very dynamic in the effect of the changing programmable lights at night and the shifting interlace of the shadows in the afternoon. The free flowing structure and embedded lights on building and site will encourage interaction between the public, art and the pedestrians. The transitional nature of art in our contemporary society is the driving conceptual force for this project.

Project name:

ART at Grand Center


Interactive Illuminated Metal Sculpture


3526 Washington Ave.
Saint Louis, MO 63103

Across from the Fox Theatre
at Washington and Grand

Completion Date:

August 1, 2012

Project Commissioned by:

Ken Kranzberg

Vision, installation Design & interactive concept by:

Jasmin Aber
Director CEL – Center for Architecture, Design & Innovation Center (Creative Exchange Lab)


Derek R. Lauer, AIA,
Lauer Architecture Progressive Design

LED Lighting by:

Gavin Perry
Good Practical Technology Solutions

Installed by:

Foreman Fabricators, Inc.
Harold Bradshaw / Nelson Vogt

Project team coordinator:

Jasmin Aber (MA. Architecture)


Derek R. Lauer, AIA,
Lauer Architecture Progressive Design


Derek R. Lauer, AIA,


@CCCCC - at Creative Collaborative Catalyst City Consulting

Type of construction (materials and systems):

The concept is to imply the word ‘A R T’ on the elevation of the building with illuminated letters formed of a series of steel tubes evenly spaced with mounting brackets anchored to the existing masonry wall. The idea was to use common galvanized electrical conduit that is typically utilitarian in nature and use it to make expressive forms. Seven parallel pieces of conduit are ganged together with cross struts and supported with custom steel brackets to the wall. LED lighting strips are applied to the back of the letters and are hooked to a computer control system with internet connectivity. This will allow for interactive commands to be received through a dedicated web page so that a person could walk up, snap a QR code then change the color and pattern of the ART in real time.

Area data:

Letters are approx. 30 feet high and 48 feet wide

1 Comment

KTDecember 13, 2012 Mar 22, 2011

KT says:

Love the Lights. Way to go, Gavin! And I do love how the author characterizes the power of light and what it brings.

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