Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Chevy Chase Night Sky Brightened with Luminescent Light Tower at The Shops at Wisconsin Place


WASHINGTON, DC –Art Display Company today announced the completion of its 35-foot tall Light Tower designed by artist Athena Tacha at The Shops at Wisconsin Place, located at the corner of Wisconsin and Western avenues near Mazza Gallerie.

"We are very excited to work with a talented sculptor in helping define the new Wisconsin Place," said Doug Kilsheimer, President of Art Display Company. "The light tower represents the expansion and vitality of our growing community."

The tower culminates the vision of both Art Display Company and tower sculptor Tacha. The W's in the tower's design refer to the internet and modern information age and to the three surrounding avenues of the block – Wisconsin, Western, and Willard.

The Light Obelisk on the fountain (inspired by both Metro signposts and Washington’s Memorial) rises 25 feet as the focus at the crossing of the axes – from the main street corner to Bloomingdale’s, through the Light Riggings activating the Arcade, to the office and the condominium towers – and down to the 35-foot WWW-Tower, the culminating beacon at the Willard entrance. The project architect, Brad Edgerly, termed the complex a “Light Avenue” – hinting at Paris’ Champs Elysees or New York’s Time Square.

“The triangular WWW-tower based on the initials of the three avenues also playfully refers to the Web and the information age we live in. Appropriately, Microsoft is a major tenant of the development’s office building. Inspired by Washington’s multiple radio towers as well as by its numerous trees, the tower combines a rigid vertical structure with the irregularity and colorfulness of living plants, enhanced by LED animation that beckons passing cars at night. Radio towers are information carriers, not only of messages on Earth, but also between us and cosmos, through telescopes and satellites. Like the ‘water’ text on the Light Obelisk, the WWW-Tower places us in the wider context of the universe," said Athena Tacha, the installation’s designer.

Tacha's sculptures and photo-works are on display in many American museums and private collections and she has won over fifty competitions for permanent public art commissions. Her other works at the development include an obelisk sculpture with an LED light display in the south plaza and a light sculpture above the pedestrian arcade.

Art Display Company and Tacha worked collaboratively to conceive, design, and bring to life the tri-colored LED structure, which sits in front of the plaza's Whole Foods entrance. The RGB tubes, programmed to constantly change colors in varying rhythmic progressions, are suspended from the roof with large aluminum beams and a network of steel cables which prevent the tubes from swaying even in 70-mile-hour-winds. This cable network gives the impression of a ship’s riggings—the arcade’s airy and semi-transparent roof can be imagined as the sails held by their Light Riggings.

With the implementation of the light tower, Wisconsin Place continues to generate a great amount of interest around Chevy Chase with its lively town center, first-class office space, residential apartments, boutiques and restaurants.

Art Display Company (ADC) is the Mid-Atlantic region’s leading manufacturer, designer and installer of commercial signage and environmental graphics. Founded by Gunther Kilsheimer in 1947, Art Display Company is now operated by his son, Douglas Kilsheimer. ADC’s award winning staff provides counsel on every phase of projects from design to permitting, through construction to installation. Architects, developers, Fortune 500 companies and individual entrepreneurs turn to Art Display Company to transform their vision into a tangible reality. The 50,000 square foot facility is home to over 100 skilled craftspeople committed to the production of interior and exterior signage in neon, metal fabrication, plastic, screen process printing, carpentry, digital graphics with large format applications and a full canopy and awning facility. For more information, please visit