Avenue of the LEDs: Leo Villareal's Largest Installation Is Inside a New Durst Office Lobby

Sixth Avenue is a haven for corporate art, from Robert Indian’s Love to Curved Cube outside the Time Life Building, to say nothing of the massive galleries spanning the entire block between 51st and 52nd streets inside the UBS Building. The Avenue of the Americas is also home to mostly older office buildings, still very splendid and class A, but many in need of updating. It has become a hub of new elevators and air conditioners and reconfigured lobbies.

At 1133 Sixth Avenue, the Durst Organization is merging these two currents, popular public art and a sparkling new lobby, into a striking whole. The centerpiece of a new Gensler-designed lobby is an installation by light artist Leo Villareal, Volume (Durst). At 90-feet long, 12-feet high and 6-feet deep, the dazzling sculpture is Mr. Villareal’s largest three-dimensional work yet. Floating near the top of the lobby, it not only enlivens the space but the avenue, as well, fully visible through the two-story windows facing out on the plaza between the International Center for Photography on one side and a bank on the other.

“I love the chance encounter,” Mr. Villareal said at an opening reception for the lobby Tuesday night.
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