Prismatica

by Joseph McKeown


Prismatica is an interactive “art trail” of twenty-five kaleidoscopic prisms located in three public plazas in downtown Manhattan: 75 Wall Street, 77 Water Street, and 32 Old Slip. The seven-foot-tall prisms are covered in a dichroic film and, depending on the angle and light hitting the prism, can reflect every color in the visible spectrum. During daytime the prisms, which are able to spin, glimmer under natural light and send explosions of color over the surroundings. At night they provide atmospheric and colorful lighting. The project was originally created by Canadian architecture firm RAW Design for the 2014 Luminothérapie Competition in Montreal, and has since traveled across North America to such places as Ottawa’s Parliament Hill, Washington’s Potomac River, and Niagara Falls. Roland Rom Colthoff, director of RAW Design, says that they “wanted people to play around” and “have fun” with the prisms. Prismatica’s stay in New York will end after five weeks on April 21st.