Visitors to Brooklyn’s Dumbo Arts Festival back in October experienced a sculptural installation that brought the night sky a little closer. Called Skylights Dumbo, the site-specific pavilion harnessed ambient light to cast constellations inside of it. Reusing the illumination coming from Brooklyn Bridge Park at night, the wooden sculpture created a star map of New York on the dome's ceiling.
The geometric sculptural pavilion popped up in Brooklyn Bridge Park last fall. Shaped like a pod, the piece was made up of triangular panes of wood of varying sizes. Circular wooden disks jut out in every direction, acting as supports and braces between the angled triangle pieces, but also creating a textural surface on the exterior of the structure.
Positioned on a slight hill, the ceiling of the piece is marked with perforations that form New York’s star map. The piece addresses the issue of light pollution in the city by utilizing it to create something beautiful. By using artificial light to illustrate constellations, Skylights reconnects visitors to the notion of the night sky, which is nowadays too often drowned out by light from cityscapes.
Visitors can step inside the pavilion and gaze up at the starscape while sitting in the grass, which is illuminated by the nearby street lights, or trace the patterns of the star perforations from the outside. Although the festival is over, the innovative installation is looking for a new, more permanent home somewhere in the New York area!