Cathedral of Light: Bent Beams Create Illusory Arches


If ever there were a cathedral of heavenly light, this is it: a beautiful series of glowing arches that you can’t capture with your hand. London design studio Troika created the ‘Arcades’ installation in a brick-walled former stable at the Interieur design biennale in Belgium using a surprisingly simple setup of bulbs and lenses.

Fourteen concentrated beams of light stream up from the ground. When they hit the Fresnel lenses – which are simply compact sheets of plastic or glass which are able to capture oblique light – they angle inward. The lenses refract the light beams in such a way that they appear to curve.

The way in which the installation is arranged makes it seem as if the light creates a physical space, contained within the arches. Visitors can walk into the ‘cathedral’ and feel sheltered without being enclosed.

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