Crisscross Signal Spire

August 19, 2018
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Municipal communications beacon

The Crisscross Signal Spire is a twenty-first-century signal tower composed of internally illuminated vertical tubes. Situated in Boston’s historic Dudley Square, the sculptural beacon embodies the function and symbolism of clock towers and church spires in a contemporary form. The spire acts as a digital interface for public communications and employs real-time lighting effects to broadcast valuable information from Boston’s online Citizen’s Connect system. The signal tower conveys different types of data based on three distinct light patterns, which it emits through the graduated perforations in the tubes. One pattern marks time, akin to a digital hourglass; another indicates MBTA transit activity; and a third reveals 311 calls logged in the city’s database. In this way, the spire becomes a sophisticated instrument for visualizing the various pulses of the city.

Contact: Höweler and Yoon Architecture, LLP, Boston, MA, USA.

For more information, see Transmaterial Next: A Catalog of Materials that Redefine Our Future

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