The West Foyer art work was created by US photographer Amanda Ortland
, who has worked with Ateliers Jean Nouvel (AJN) since 2005 on projects such as the Guthrie Theatre in Minneapolis. Her role revolves around creating unique, site specific works of art that reveal and intensify the conceptual themes of the buildings or places they inhabit.
For the One Central Park West lobby, Amanda took two black and white photographs of a Wolgan Valley Eucalyptus forest in the Blue Mountains, a UNESCO protected world heritage site. She scanned the film for her 4x5 view camera at a very high resolution and enlarged the photos to a wall size scale. Amanda then toned one of the photos to pure red and the other to pure yellow, while turning the shadows in both dark blue, finally, she overlayed the two bi-chrome images to obtain the final composition. Because of the tri-chromic toning, the details of one of the photos within the image can be made to dominate by tuning the light to its specific colour. The final composition is broken up into three canvasses that are each suspended in a shrine-like light box behind a two-way mirror and lit with coloured light. The mirrors reflect only 40% of the light, but anything dark inside the light boxes will mostly disappear behind the reflections, while the brightly lit canvasses tend to come through at all times, but especially at night. The black floor, walls and ceilings of the lobby enhance this effect, erase the corners of the room and bring the images to float in the dark.
Amanda Ortland presents the images of the forest as a window into the natural landscape and vegetation that were there before the city was built. As residents keep coming home, they keep coming back to this image, they are returning to a primal idea of the site: the lighting’s changing primary colours suggest an ideal, sacred image of nature that belongs to the realm of the dream ad eludes static representation.
For the East Foyer the installation is part of a series of public spaces that AJN have designed for Central Park. All of them revolve around the appearance of nature in and around the building, be it in form of a garden, a material or an image. For example, the East Lobby has bamboo gardens and curved bamboo panels on its walls, the Atrium has an underground garden lit by heliostats, and the West Lobby has a monumental image of a Eucalyptus forest.
The ethereal and curvaceous East Lobby evokes the sky, the lush stand of bamboo bring the natural world inside – a natural extension of AJN’s overarching organic ethos for One Central park. Bamboo is the defining material used in the East’s lobby and Sky’s private foyer chosen for its unimpeachable green credentials, fine grain and naturally beautiful finish. Bronze details introduce warmth and robust integrity to the space.