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General Motors, GM Renaissance Center “Borealis” Sculpture

Detroit, Michigan

Client: General Motors
Architect: Skidmore, Owings & Merrill
Artist: Danny Lane
Completion: 2005

Danny Lane, an American born artist who lives and works in London, was commissioned to create this monumental glass sculpture as the focal point to the General Motors Headquarters entry lobby. The glass piece “Borealis” is comprised of two complex curved walls, which flank the main entry. Each wall segment is a unique composition of over a thousand ½” thick by 4” wide, up to 22 feet long pieces of glass. Only gravity holds them in place.

The Artist wanted to celebrate the lighting characteristics of the prismatic glass form. A series of point sources located at the fascia behind the glass are aimed upward at varying angles to capture the sparkle and the refracting quality of the glass. The light defines the curve and separates the glass from the ceiling while adding a sense of depth to the space. Back lighted walls enhance the glass’s transparency and add a kinetic quality.