Rendering of The Lace  over a canal in Amsterdam



2016  Amsterdam Light Festival  Selection

The Lace is a 10m x15m illuminated sculpture that will be suspended over the Herengracht in Amsterdam, near the Royal Palace.  The Lace will be installed along with other artworks selected for the 2016 Amsterdam Light Festival.  

The Lace was designed for the festival’s theme of "The City of Amsterdam."  Lace has a long history in Dutch culture and art, and the form of The Lace was created to be reminiscent of traditional Dutch bonnets.  The Lace is intended to be viewed from the canal boat tours which will pass beneath the Lace and from the nearby streets including the Raadhuisstraat bridge.

The Lace consists of 18 central panels and a uniform border, crocheted by hand in classical Dutch patterns using traditional methods.  The Lace requires 33,000m (20.5 miles) of cord and weighs about 650kg.  The Lace was designed by Jin Choi and Thomas Shine  who are also fabricating and overseeing the installation of the sculpture.

PROJECT DETAILS This project creates a unique sense of place with an intricate, calm and simple object.  Seeing this glowing lace, mysteriously hovering above the dark water, creates an unforgettable experience.

A familiar object shown in a drastically larger scale creates a sense of surprise contributing to the memory of the space.  The Lace forms an enclosure reminiscent of traditional Dutch bonnets.   The folded flaps gesture a welcome, contributing to a sense of lightness as the revealed edges make the thin planar layers more visible, while the porous, woven surface creates enchanting patterns of light against the sky, water and the city. 

The Lace symbolically weaves different people and cultures, different urban textures and the past with the future of Amsterdam.  Lace is used as an embellishment, a special celebration and a little bit of luxury.  The Lace is delicate, and inherently soft and feminine creating visual poetry while celebrating the light festival and the cultural richness of Amsterdam.

Dutch Bonnet (Photo Credit: 'Dutch National  Costumes'  J.M. Meulenhoff) + Illuminated Cable + Amsterdam

The Lace symbolizes the densely woven city of Amsterdam: weaving of different people, woven urban structure (canals, rivers, squares and roads) and a weaving of the historic city with the new Amsterdam of the future.  The form of The Lace in reminiscent of traditional Dutch bonnets and the futuristic idea of hovering, implying the city flight into the future.   The Lace is designed for sequential viewing by boat, with a prelude, climax and finale as a consecutive experience in a controlled linear movement, and utilizes the water’s reflection to define space.   Herengracht is the selected site, enabling The Lace to be calmly glowing without glare.  This intimate, residential neighborhood allows for quiet, poetic contemplation of The Lace.

Unfolded Plan

2m x 2m crochet motif

1.2 m wide border

Motif design from 'Needle Made Laces' TH De Dillmont, DMC Library

Double Ground stitch from  'Encyclopedia of Neddle Work', TH. De Dillmont, 1884

Formal Study: Paper Model showing folding of the surfaces.

Structural Study: Suspension System

The Lace is woven in the pattern of traditional lace, but uses a 5.0mm UV protected solid core double braided polyester cord  suspended with Dyneema and polyester cables. The cables fasten to the trees and lampposts holding The Lace in tension.  The Lace itself acts as a tensile structure. The Lace is a lightweight structure, weatherproof and very strong, capable of supporting ice loads.  The Lace weighs about 3kg per square meter and the final sculpture will require about 33,000 meters of cord (20.5 miles), depending on the tightness of the final weave.

The Lace is designed for simple installation, and is composed of 18 rectangular and 32 triangular panels, which are joined at ground level at the site.  Once assembled, The Lace is hoisted up to the suspending cables until rigidly held in place.  Multiple panels are shipped as pre-joined rolls, with the lighting connections in place.

Each panel is illuminated by multiple light sources, which illuminate the top and underside of the Lace for even fiber illumination.

Rendering of the Lace as seen from a canal boat

The Lace is experienced from below and above, appearing as a glowing, woven three dimensional form flying over the canal which reflects its overlapping, intricate patterns.  

While traveling along the canal, The Lace is experienced sequentially, first as a distant sheet of light with its mirrored image below. More closely, The Lace’s patterns become visible.

Once under The Lace, the viewer arrives at a space with a high ceiling, seemingly enclosed, yet with the night sky visible through the glowing structure.  Soon, The Lace slopes down, almost touchable by the viewer. 

As the viewer enjoys The Lace in detail, it gently lifts away, releasing the viewer.  One thread of The Lace follows the viewer, tempting them to look back, before disappearing into the dark horizon.

Rendering of the visitors' experience on a boat tour

The images and design  copyright 2016 - 2022   Choi+Shine Architects, LLC.  All rights reserved. 

The designs, artworks and images on this page are subject to copyright, patent and/or trademark protection.

Contact:  Choi+Shine Architects for written permission for image use.

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The images and design  copyright 2016 - 2022 Choi+Shine Architects, LLC.  All rights reserved. 

 “The Lace” is trademark of Choi+Shine Architects.

Contact:  Choi+Shine Architects for written permission for image use.