Vancouver-based design and manufacturing house Bocci unveiled a massive public art installation, called 16.480, in the plaza of the Fairmont Pacific Rim, a luxury hotel, also in Vancouver. Bocci’s Creative Director, Omer Arbel, envisioned the glass components, named 16, starting in 2007 and as the parts were finessed over the last year, the forest-like installation became a reality. Whatever time of day, the sculptural installation adds a majestic pause for all who pass through the space.
Prototypes of 16, which is made of stainless steel armatures that look similar to branches with glass, leaf-like modules attached, were developed over time and perfected resulting in dimensional “trees”. The glass is made of three layers, milk white, transparent grey, and clear, that were individually poured on top of one another. The end result is that no two leaves are the same. In total, 480 “leaves” were used in the installation, hence its name.
The abstract “forest” spans about 100 feet (30 meters) in length and rise upwards of 30 feet (nine meters) tall, perfectly accenting the once empty space.
The permanent installation marks the latest in a series of public art pieces located around the city of Vancouver, much of which are spearheaded by the hotel’s owner Ian Gillespie of Westbank Corp., Canada’s renowned real estate developer. The Fairmont Pacific Rim hotel is where you can see a number of those pieces thoughtfully installed throughout the lobby and various corridors of the property. Two in particular stand out before you even enter the building – it’s British artist Liam Gillick’s words that wrap themselves around the most prominent corner of the hotel and architect James KM Cheng’s shimmering rainforest that screens the western facade.
Photos by Gwenael Lewis.