Proposal for Piazza Duca D'Aosta, Milan, Italy
1999 Competition Entry, reworked 2001

LIMINIS from Eric Worcester on Vimeo.

1. Eye-level view.

Liminis stands for Liminal Millenium device.

In 1999 the city of Milan sponsored a competition to transform a public piazza into a
site for a luminous sign. This sign would inaugurate the coming millenium by
celebrating mankind's technological achievements of the past century. The chosen site,
Piazza Duca D'Aosta, is a major point of convergence for the city's transportation
networks. It sits in front of the Central Rail Station, above two levels of converging
metro lines, and adjacent to pedestrian and automobile routes.

2. Bird's eye view.

It is difficult to think of a positive image of technological achievements without a
negative one coming to mind. A conjecture could be put forth, that any positive image
could be put into a one-to-one correspondence with a negative one. If the terms in the
pairing are purged of all content by not naming any names, then all that remains is the
binary pair itself, distinguishable by assiging each term to one of two states, on or off,
light or dark. This thought experiment serves as the conceptual basis for LIMINIS.

3. View of model.

LIMINIS occupies the rim of a circular void set in the center of the piazza which
connects two levels of underground metro lines to the open air. Each side is
composed of chambers of glass and mirrors, with hidden light sources illuminating
parts of the chambers by turning on and off at a long, slow frequency. The
configuration of mirrors is designed to direct reflections and light both vertically
and horizontally- up from the underground and out across the piazza, and vice versa.
The configuration of lights is designed to create varying transparency states- as light
appears, reflections disappear, with the opposite occurring in reverse. The slow,
luminous contraction and dilation of LIMINIS renders perceptible a continuum of varying
optical states, to those both above and below ground.

4. Site plan and section.

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