Architectural Holography: Building with light, decorating with space
Andrew Pepper 
Note: References in this on-line version are included within square brackets [ ] and are listed at the bottom of the page. It is also possible to click here to open a new window containing the full list .
It was, unfortunately, never realised but this type of project and the inspiration which accompanies it have helped shape our view of holographys potential.
Although there are many examples of this type of architectural holography, one which has an interesting double life is a piece by artist Martin Richardson. His 2 x 1 meter hologram for 552 Kings Chelsea Limited was used in a successful exhibition in London, to help promote a new building development, but is now to be on display at the Museum of London, where it can be seen in the Contemporary London Gallery, opening summer 2002. What originally began life as a detailed recording of an architects model has become a museum display in its own right, reflecting the changing face of modern London. It is also some indication of how attractive holographic images are in this sort of display environment. Would the museum designers have considered showing the original physical model, or does the holographic version have more visitor appeal?
Another hologram, produced by John Perry of Holographics North, Vermont, USA, in 1987, also became an attraction in its own right and remained on display for several years well into the nineties. As Perry explains: "The purpose of the hologram was to show their visitors how the museum would look after the renovations were done, and do it in a futuristic, dreamlike way." It is clear that holography adds something extra to the process of documentation which sets it apart from the more traditional physical model.
The holographic fish scales in "Flight of Fish", produced in 1990, make absolute sense here in this outdoor fountain. Each of the 50 fish is on a pivot so, as the direction of the wind changes, these weather vanes swivel, catching sunlight and diffracting rainbow colours around the pool.
Artist Melissa Crenshaw also used embossed holographic material to cover the interior of the Canadian Pavilion for Expo 92 in Seville, Spain, in collaboration with Vancouver Architect Bing Thom .
This, now celebrated, example of how extremely large areas of holographic material can be incorporated into an interior structure, demonstrates ways in which artists and architects can incorporate specially constructed materials. Here the embossed holography sheets were laminated between glass so that water cascades down over the holographic surface and further diffracts the light shining on it. In recent years Crenshaw has been carrying out research which has resulted in diffractive elements for use in interior, lighting design and glass structures .
The use of these holographic tiles has become a useful source of decorative material for interior design and the production of cladding for larger structures. Joel Berman Glass Studios, Vancouver, Canada, for example, offer a range of glass textures and surfaces. Their Tactile Wall product includes holographic and luminescent textures which designers can specify.
Here the pastel, subdued, effect, so often a by-product of indirectly illuminated diffraction gratings is used as the backdrop for Brasserie 8-1/2, a bar installation using Tactile Wall products. Not every designer or location requires vibrant glitz.
The patterns and effects will be somewhat familiar but the fact that these products are being produced in robust materials (often glass laminates) means that the problem of scratching the surface of the gratings in heavy use applications, which often made these surfaces appear old and less than sophisticated, has been lessened. VITs stated mission is "to provide alternative solutions to traditional glass and plastic utilization, while enhancing current applications with art and creativity to provide new visual experiences that combine light with technology . This has involved some fairly large projects such as glass wall cladding for trade exhibitions as shown here on a construction for the Intel Corporation.
Because diffraction grating material can be seen in multiple or diffused lighting situations, specifically directed lighting does not have to be installed, which can greatly reduce the cost of architectural installations and make these products useful for casual usage in domestic or corporate environments. Details of many newly announced commercial products and services relevant to this area of design and manufacturing can be found in Holography News .
Steel and Light  , a Division of Tru-Form Metals, based in California, offer diffraction grating furniture which relies on just this relaxed attitude to illuminating holography. In fact, the more light shining on these objects, the stronger the visual effect.
Glass top furniture is popular and to include holographic diffraction material within the glass is a logical step. These are purely visual effects incorporated into products which can be used to decorate an environment, but the same idea of diffraction and tiling has been used by artists as a way of building larger scale objects and installations, while at the same time allowing them to move or distort space and the objects which appear in those spaces.
"Light Chair 2000", produced by artist Pearl John  and students on one of the holography courses she teaches in the USA, contains 45 rectangular holograms. Not a mass producible commercial product, but an exploration in ways of placing light (and the holography which stores it) in non-traditional display situations. Sitting on light (or the promise of being able to) and dimensional camouflage open up many possibilities for students to explore diffraction gratings, the production of holograms and ways to display them. This provides a method of linking art and science for students with little or no knowledge of contemporary art. As John comments in her paper on the subject, "Not only have students not previously heard of postmodernism, but they also have no opportunity to see contemporary art. They have had no exposure to installation and they are also introduced to the concept of public art."
Both the painted and holographic elements combine to form an integrated work, achieving a difficult balance, as holography almost always overwhelms other media it is placed with. Extensive details, and images, explaining the design and production of this installation, can be found on Berkhouts web site. 
The pieces show a more traditional approach to framing and can be likened to the extensive use of stained glass in turn-of-the-century European housing or the decorative tiles used in many art deco residences. Here, however, the light and colour exist not only within the holographic rectangles but also in the space between the viewer and the hologram surface. She has also worked on much larger public installations, as can be seen in this piece, using transmission holograms hung within a building void.
Karsten Habighorst , Germany, has completed several installations for architectural spaces. Here, for example, he has used transmission holography as part of the signage for a bank entrance in Beckum, Germany. This 2 x 2.7 meter encapsulated hologram, produced in 1998, uses colour effects to draw attention to the entrance area in a way that neon lighting might have been used previously.
The potential of holograms used in open public spaces is immense, but used infrequently at the moment. Architects often like the idea but reject holography because it appears difficult to light or does not offer the expected three-dimensional effect they were expecting. These sorts of installations are often incorporated after the building has been constructed (add-ons), rather than during the original design period. This can, of course, be a challenging benefit for the artist or producer who receives the commission at some later date, and the results can be spectacular, but incorporating holographic elements at an early stage has the potential to produce revolutionary buildings.
Architect Julian Marsh, along with artist Jo Fairfax, proposed a building which would not only include holographic walls within the structure of the project but an integral sculpture. The project did not succeed due to lack of funding but demonstrated how holography could be used intelligently as an integral part of the development of an architectural structure.
Although this use of holographic floor tiles was the result of a research project with the design department of the Krupps company, Essen, Orazem showed tiles for the first time in his exhibition at the European Media Arts Festival, Osnabrück, Germany (1988), and later they were installed in more public environments (discotheques and shops).
One recent project, which moves this concept out of the refined atmosphere of a gallery and into a more public space, combines floor placement as well as hanging, mobile elements, is "Perpetuum Mobile" by artist Dieter Jung, installed in the European Patent Office, The Hague, Netherlands, in 2001. This includes a holographic floor area of 16 square meters with a 4.5 meter mobile structure hanging above.
The floor images are visible through 360 degrees and display different graphic colour images when viewed from different vantage points. This work differs from Mins Glass Ceiling partly because it was a specific commission for a specific public space, but also in the content of the imagery and how viewers react to that imagery. Mins faces can be threatening, particularly if the viewer walking over them is wearing a skirt. They are also difficult to tread on as many people have an inherent dislike of treading on other peoples faces. Jungs non-representational colour floor allows a greater opportunity to walk over it or stand on the light patterns without being challenged by the content of the display. This, together with the mobile colour above, and the reflection of that structure in the glass floor below, provides a link between the two parts of the installation.
Part of the research has included the development of a computer-driven system capable of producing individual holographic pixels which can be recorded side by side to construct a much larger, and highly efficient, holographic (graphic) image. Colours can be specified during the production and several holograms can be mounted together to produce huge light installations. These pieces deal more with graphic, kinetic and colour effects, rather than recognisable three dimensional images and have been used in several large-scale architectural projects.
Exposed to the elements, the holographic film surfaces are laminated between glass to protect them , and the diffractive colour effect can be seen from large distances. It was billed, at the time, as the worlds largest hologram.
The resulting 26, 1 x 2.5 meter holographic sheets, on film, were encapsulated between glass and used to construct the side wall of the building. At night 6 search lights flood the holograms with light (3 from the roof of the conference centre opposite and 3 from the floor area directly in front of the wall). The effect is kinetic. The flat featureless wall disappears, replaced by intense shifting graphic images, patterns and colours. During the day ambient and direct sunlight bounces off the mirrored glass backing of each panel, travels through the thousands of tiny holograms and creates an ever changing pattern of colour. As observers move in front of the wall, their eyes will pass through different parts of the spectrum generated by each holographic pixel. Bright sunlight produces intense spectral colours and subdued diffused light will create softer, more pastel colours. More details about the design and construction of this wall have been published in "This Side Up" magazine .
REFERENCES AND NOTES
 Dennis Gabor, A New Microscopic Principle, Nature, 161, pp 777-8. 1948.
 Holography at the Crossroads. An interview with the Father of Holography, Optical Spectra, Vol 4, part 9, pp 32-33, 1970.
 Light Fantastic, exhibition catalogue, Furst, Phillips, Wolf, Bergstrom + Boyle Books Ltd, London. 1977.
 A. Pepper, Beyond the Gallery Ghetto. The Creative Holography Index, The International Catalogue for Holography, Monand Press, Bergisch Gladbach, Germany, Vol 2, issue 2.
 See Sam Morees paper in the online version of this conferences proceedings.
 A. Pepper, Windows with memories: Creative holography in the real world. This Side Up, No.10, June 2000, pp15-18. ISSN 1389 1707. Online version available at www.apepper.com
 See Jo Fairfaxs paper in the online version of this conferences proceedings.
 Full details of this hologram and other work by Richardson can be found at www.holograms.uk.com
 E-mail to the author, from John Perry, March 2002
 MIT, spatial Imaging Group: http://spi.www.media.mit.edu/groups/spi/
 Several of these pieces have been shown in Germany. Details can be found on Vilas web site www.vilamedia.com
 Harriet Casdin-Silver is represented by the NAGA Gallery: www.gallerynaga.com/current.htm
 Shown in Europe at the exhibition and conference Holography 2000, Austria.
 www.sallyweber.com Although this site currently features "Matrix", a non-holographic installation by Weber, other areas of her work will be included shortly.
 See (5).
 M. Crenshaw, Design Applications in Embossed Materials, Practical Holography X, SPIE proceedings, Vol. 2652, pp. 244-247, 1996.
 Stated on their web site, (see 21)
 Holography News, The International Business Newsletter of the Holography Industry, www.reconnaisance-int.com
 Pearl John launched a web site, containing details of her art work and educational activities to coincide with this conference: www.pearljohn.co.uk
 Pearl.V.John, Advanced Holography in High School, conference paper reproduced on her web site,(see 25).
 A. Pepper, The National Holographic Centre England: Proposal report. 6th International Symposium on Display Holography, Lake Forest College, Lake Forest, USA,SPIE proceedings Volume 358. Online version available at www.apepper.com
 Vito Orazem, Holography as an element of the media architecture, Fifth International Symposium on display Holography, Lake Forest college, SPIE proceedings Vol 2333, pp 168-177, 1994.
 A. Pepper, Building with Light: Holography, Glass and Architecture. This Side Up, No.15, September 2001, pp 2-4 ISSN 1389 1707. Online version available at www.apepper.com