Curtain of Names

Merit Award 2015

Asked to create an installation recognizing clients of the Advisory Board Company, C&G Partners created an artful, shimmering curtain of names consisting of thousands of translucent, solid rods.

Each translucent rod hosts a single engraved name filled in silver, and a single silver set screw holds it to one of hundreds of numbered wire strands. The curtain, strung like a harp between a luminous ceiling and a marble floor, required the structure of the building to be engineered to bear the weight of the combined tension of the system.

Each name is a single member client of the Advisory Board Company, a global research, technology, and consulting firm in service to health care and higher education. The curtain welcomes arriving members to the Advisory Board’s dedicated client collaboration space in Washington, D.C. A nearby digital surface, recessed into a circular column at the center of the radius of the curve, acts as a touch directory. A moving vertical cascade of names quickly matches institutions to numbered wires, drawing on an underlying database. The C&G designed the curtain, digital interface, and database for rapid, high-capacity expansion as more members join. They chose Benton Sans, Tobias Frère-Jones' reinterpretation of News Gothic, as the typeface throughout.

Jury Comments: 

“While donor walls are invariably static, this solution provides a pragmatic solution, allowing additive flexibility but creating a compelling sense of place. It actually engages the user in an active way. The rigorous and detailed design is meticulously executed, resulting in a beautifully integrated installation.”

“An elegant solution that allows for an ever-evolving composition. The material choice and installation create a beautiful sculptural form with rhythmic edges and interior movement. The silver typography is perfectly paired with the translucent rods to transfer information without competing with the overall form.”

“The beauty of this solution is in the attention to the fabrication details: the material choices, the etched typography, the fixing of the wires at top and bottom, and the elegant lighting. It's also seamlessly integrated into the architecture.”

Design Firm: 

C&G Partners

Client: 

The Advisory Board Company

Location City: 

Washington, D.C.

Project Area: 

7,500 sq ft

Open Date: 

January 2015

Project Budget: 

$165,000

Photo Credits: 

Au2026

Design Team: 

Jonathan Alger (principal in charge); Leah Kasell (project manager); Daniel Fouad, Elle White (3D designers); Eliza Fitzhugh, Yoana Wiman, Claire Niederberger (graphic designers);  Daniel Rodriguez (interactive designer); Zak Greene (developer); Keith Madden (IT)

Consultants: 

N/A

Fabricators: 

Capitol Museum Services (primary fabricator), Avitecture (primary AV integrator), PPI (AV consultant)

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