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ING Bank Head Office, Amsterdamse Poort Amsterdam, Netherlands
In collaboration with colleague Judigor

The Head office of the ING Bank Amsterdamse Poort, designed by architects Mr. A Alberts and Mr. M. van Huut, is renowned as a sublime example of organic architecture with integrated art.

The integrated light art by artists Joost van Santen and Judigor visualizes time of day, noon, seasons and climate deep inside the building, creating awareness of the cosmic movements of the sun. Reliefs and objects are autonomous works of art. At the same time they are part of installations in which sunlight phenomena such as the summer solstice occur. These phenomena are the essence of the light art in the ten towers. One can compare the ING Bank to other buildings with light phenomena; such as the sun rising over Stonehenge or the sunray touching the image of Ramses II in the Abu Simbel temple in Egypt. The difference is that these buildings can create festivals of lights while ING Bank is closed to the public.

In all these buildings the potential phenomena are there in the form of expectation, even if one is not there to observe them as they occur.

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ING bank Amsterdamse Poort

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Cross-section tower E with light well

Each tower has its own orientation towards north-south.

 

Mirrors objects, marking the summer solstice in all 10 towers.
At June 21, summer solstice, sunlight will reach the lowest point of the walls of the light wells. These spots are marked by mirror objects. Each tower has its own mirror design.
The shapes are consistent with the overall design of the building; unformed in tower A (birth), exuberant in the D and E towers( growth and blooming), increasingly expressive in the I tower. ( a new beginning). The colours of the mirrors match those of the wells, but with magenta added.

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Tower I. Summer solstice June 21

 

Light Art. Reliefs in 7 towers.
A number of the light wells are crowned by polished brass and copper reliefs, facing the sun,
reflecting sunlight deep into the building. The reliefs of copper and brass panels cover the upper walls of the wells, resembling gold jewellery.


Relief tower C.

Shape of the reliefs.
In the Light Laboratories of the Technical University of Delft has been examined how sunlight enters the light wells on the shortest day of December 21. The shape of the reliefs is the result of the encounter of sunlight and building on this date. The lower edges form a 'winter line'. On the shortest day of the year (solstice) the sun touches every single point above this line.

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Sunlight entering the light well on December 21 at different times of day.

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Even on the shortest day the sun will reach all panels of of the relief.

Other reliefs reflect the equinoxes of spring and autumn on March 21 and on September 21. The lower edges of the relief form a 'spring/autumn line'. On these dates the sun touches every point of the relief above this line.

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Winter and spring/autumn lines of the relief of tower D

 

LIght Art tower A. Narrow curved mirrors.
The light well of tower A is crowned by a brass relief. Its lower edge is defined by a 'Winter Line' or seasonal line. Here on the shortest day of the year, the sun touches every single point of the relief. At the centre of the relief, which points due north, are two elegantly curved silver mirrors. Their reflection touch the water surface of the pond in the internal street.
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Curved silver mirrors reflect sunlight at the floor of the interior street.

Light Art tower B. Sculpture 'River Rock' on a north-south line. 'Sunlight Event' noon each day.
The light well is crowned by a polished brass relief, facing the sun. Reflections of the relief touch the walls of the light well; however they do not reach the internal street. The three coloured mirrors curve at different angles so that sunlight reflected by one of the mirrors will always reach the internal street. Once a day at noon (sun time) this light covers a line that runs north-south across the floor of the internal street, also lighting the 'River Rock' which is on this line. The rock of white carrara marble was found in a river bed, deposited there by glaciers during the ice age. An aluminium reflector with a magenta coloured coating is placed behind the rock, giving the rock a reddish glow.
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Tower B. Relief and three bent mirrors strips. Reflected sunlight reaches the floor of the internal street.

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11:00 am and noon. The reflection and north-south line.

Light Art tower C. Sculpture 'The Embryo of Light'. Light Event once a year.
Staggered brass strips are placed against the top of the glass-roofed well, crowning the well like a chain. Golden light is reflected down into the well. A narrow curved mirror strip, placed horizontally, complements the relief. Its forms a striking contrast with the golden relief, like a silver piece of jewellery. This mirror strip is there to make sure that once a year the reflected sunlight reaches the 'Embryo of Light' a light sculpture in the pond of the ground floor.

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Sculpture 'Embryo of Light' in pond. Relief and reflection tower C.

Light Art towers D and E. 'Sunlight Events'. Sculptures 'Nadir Stones'.
Reliefs of polished copper and brass cover most of the upper-wall surface of the glass-roofed wells. The bottom edge is defined by the 'Spring Line' a seasonal line. The 'Winter Line' can be seen of the reliefs itself. Brass and copper plates fixed to the 'ears' of the wells serve to enhance the surface quality.

Because of the sheer height of the towers the reflected light of the reliefs fail to reach the sculptures 'Nadir Rocks' in the internal street. That is why a mirror ellipse is placed on the stairways. It helps to create a special light moment, when once a year sunlight entering from above reaches the Nadir Rocks.
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Once a year sunlight reflected by the mirror ellipse reaches the sculptures 'Nadir Rocks' - a special light event.

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Relief tower D

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Relief tower E

Light Art tower B. Sculpture 'River Rock' on a north-south line. 'Sunlight Event' noon each day.
The light well is crowned by a polished brass relief, facing the sun. Reflections of the relief touch the walls of the light well; however they do not reach the internal street. The three coloured mirrors curve at different angles so that sunlight reflected by one of the mirrors will always reach the internal street. Once a day at noon (sun time) this light covers a line that runs north-south across the floor of the internal street, also lighting the 'River Rock' which is on this line. The rock of white carrara marble was found in a river bed, deposited there by glaciers during the ice age. An aluminium reflector with a magenta coloured coating is placed behind the rock, giving the rock a reddish glow.
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Tower B. Relief and three bent mirrors strips. Reflected sunlight reaches the floor of the internal street.

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11:00 am and noon. The reflection and north-south line.

Light Art tower C. Sculpture 'The Embryo of Light'. Light Event once a year.
Staggered brass strips are placed against the top of the glass-roofed well, crowning the well like a chain. Golden light is reflected down into the well. A narrow curved mirror strip, placed horizontally, complements the relief. Its forms a striking contrast with the golden relief, like a silver piece of jewellery. This mirror strip is there to make sure that once a year the reflected sunlight reaches the 'Embryo of Light' a light sculpture in the pond of the ground floor.

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Sculpture 'Embryo of Light' in pond. Relief and reflection tower C.

Light Art towers D and E. 'Sunlight Events'. Sculptures 'Nadir Stones'.
Reliefs of polished copper and brass cover most of the upper-wall surface of the glass-roofed wells. The bottom edge is defined by the 'Spring Line' a seasonal line. The 'Winter Line' can be seen of the reliefs itself. Brass and copper plates fixed to the 'ears' of the wells serve to enhance the surface quality.

Because of the sheer height of the towers the reflected light of the reliefs fail to reach the sculptures 'Nadir Rocks' in the internal street. That is why a mirror ellipse is placed on the stairways. It helps to create a special light moment, when once a year sunlight entering from above reaches the Nadir Rocks.
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Once a year sunlight reflected by the mirror ellipse reaches the sculptures 'Nadir Rocks' - a special light event.

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Relief tower D

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Relief tower E


Light Art tower B. Sculpture 'River Rock' on a north-south line. 'Sunlight Event' noon each day.
The light well is crowned by a polished brass relief, facing the sun. Reflections of the relief touch the walls of the light well; however they do not reach the internal street. The three coloured mirrors curve at different angles so that sunlight reflected by one of the mirrors will always reach the internal street. Once a day at noon (sun time) this light covers a line that runs north-south across the floor of the internal street, also lighting the 'River Rock' which is on this line. The rock of white carrara marble was found in a river bed, deposited there by glaciers during the ice age. An aluminium reflector with a magenta coloured coating is placed behind the rock, giving the rock a reddish glow.

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Tower B. Relief and three bent mirrors strips. Reflected sunlight reaches the floor of the internal street.

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11:00 am and noon. The reflection and north-south line.

Light Art tower C. Sculpture 'The Embryo of Light'. Light Event once a year.
Staggered brass strips are placed against the top of the glass-roofed well, crowning the well like a chain. Golden light is reflected down into the well. A narrow curved mirror strip, placed horizontally, complements the relief. Its forms a striking contrast with the golden relief, like a silver piece of jewellery. This mirror strip is there to make sure that once a year the reflected sunlight reaches the 'Embryo of Light' a light sculpture in the pond of the ground floor.

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Sculpture 'Embryo of Light' in pond. Relief and reflection tower C.

Light Art towers D and E. 'Sunlight Events'. Sculptures 'Nadir Stones'.
Reliefs of polished copper and brass cover most of the upper-wall surface of the glass-roofed wells. The bottom edge is defined by the 'Spring Line' a seasonal line. The 'Winter Line' can be seen of the reliefs itself. Brass and copper plates fixed to the 'ears' of the wells serve to enhance the surface quality.

Because of the sheer height of the towers the reflected light of the reliefs fail to reach the sculptures 'Nadir Rocks' in the internal street. That is why a mirror ellipse is placed on the stairways. It helps to create a special light moment, when once a year sunlight entering from above reaches the Nadir Rocks.
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Once a year sunlight reflected by the mirror ellipse reaches the sculptures 'Nadir Rocks' - a special light event.

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Relief tower E

Sculptures 'Nadir Rocks' in towers D and E.
The Nadir Rocks can be found along the internal street in D and E towers. Facing each other they are the focus of attention at the heart of the building. The rocks were formed by splitting one large boulder of Belgian blue stone , after which the split surfaces were placed opposite each other. At eye level the rocks were cut at a 45-degree angle and covered by a mirror. People approaching along the internal street will see the light from the sky, 30 meters higher, reflected in these mirrors.

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Light connects towers and Nadir Rocks.

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In the mirrors one sees the sky 30 meters above.


Light Art tower F. 'Streaming Light'
The relief of tower F is inspired by the water flow in the pond below. Curved narrow strips of polished copper are fixed to the wall of the well. The strips have a slightly corrugated surface. Seen from the internal street they light up, catching the light of the sky entering through the glass roof.


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Bent polished brass mirror strips reflect the light from the footlight above.

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Light well and brass curved mirror strips. Solstice mirror tower F.


Light Art tower H. 'Sunlight Events' every day. Sculptures 'Light Organ' and 'Spirala'.
Nine curved silver mirrors strips, fixed to the ear of the light well, compose a sculpture called 'Light Organ'. Each of the silver strips reflects long strips of sunlight onto the walls of the light well, reaching a sculpture 'Spirala' at the internal street once a day.
The sculpture is a 6-metre height brass object. Its soaring shape symbolizes the new beginning of the seasonal cycle in accordance with the building's formal design.

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Light reflections of each of the mirrors of the 'Light Organ' reach the 'Spirala' once a day.

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'Light Organ' with nine curved mirror strips.


DATA

Title:  Light Installations in ten towers
Concept: The concept of the art is to make time of day, noon, seasons and climate visible deep inside the building as they form part of cosmological movements of the sun. Reliefs and objects are autonomous works of art. At the same time they are part of installations in which daylight phenomena such as the summer solstice occur. These phenomena ad value to the building.

Description:           
Reliefs of copper and brass facing south are situated at the top of the light wells, which form the centre of each of the ten towers. 30 meter below, at the indoor walkway, that connects these ten towers, sculptures are placed at strategic positions. Once a year sunlight reflected by the reliefs will reach these sculptures, melting both parts of the light installations into a single piece of art. These 'Special Events' are the essence of the project.

Artists:  Joost van Santen and Judigor
Completed:  1987
Project duration:  3 years
Medium:  daylight, sunlight, copper, brass, marble, glass
Location:  Amsterdamse Poort, Amsterdam, Netherlands
Architect:  Alberts en van Huut
Project manager:  Ir. J.J.C. van Rijs
Commissioning Agency: NMB Bank (renamed ING Bank in 1992)
Budget:  euro 100,000,--
Remarks:  the design was made in close collaboration with Arnold Hamelberg
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Buildings famous for their light phenomena.

The Head office of the ING Bank Amsterdamse Poort, designed by architects Mr. A Alberts and Mr. M. van Huut, is renowned as a sublime example of organic architecture with integrated art.

The integrated light art by artists Joost van Santen and Judigor visualizes time of day, noon, seasons and climate deep inside the building, creating awareness of the cosmic movements of the sun. Reliefs and objects are autonomous works of art. At the same time they are part of installations in which sunlight phenomena such as the summer solstice occur. These phenomena are the essence of the light art in the ten towers. One can compare the ING Bank to other buildings with light phenomena; such as the sun rising over Stonehenge or the sunray touching the image of Ramses II in the Abu Simbel temple in Egypt. The big difference with the ING Bank is that these buildings can create a festival of lights of these events while ING Bank is closed to the public. In all buildings the potential phenomena are there in the form of expectation, even if one is not there to observe them as they occur.

Stonehenge, Wiltshire, west of Amesbury and north of Salisbury, England

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Summer solstice June 21

Abu Simbel monument in Aswan, Egypt

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A ray of sunlight penetrates the temple and touches the statue of Ramses II 21-22 february

Kukulkan Pyramid, Chitzen Itza, Mexico

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Pyramid and descent of the feathered serpent at the spring and autumn equinoxes.

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Descent of the feathered serpent during spring and autumn equinoxes

ING Bank Amsterdamse Poort, Amsterdam Netherlands

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The sun reaching the mirror objects during the summer solstice June 21.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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