The Architectural League of New York’s Annual Beaux Arts Ball Wowed Guests with “Ceiling Unlimited” Installation
By Zoë Zellers
Dubbed by industry insiders as “the Met Ball for architects,” the Architectural League of New York’s 2019 Beaux Arts Ball transformed a former shipbuilding facility at the Brooklyn Navy Yard into a lively dance floor complete with a captivating site-specific design installation. Architects, designers, editors and architectural products manufacturers, mixed and mingled over cocktails, a seated family-style dinner, and later, on the dance floor at the annual Ball which took place Friday, September 27. The evening offered a unique chance for architects and designers from top firms to network with each other and with manufacturers, and bond over support of the Architectural League of New York. All proceeds will benefit the organization’s programming throughout the year. Hunter Douglas Architectural is proud to be an ongoing supporter of the League, and team members from New York and Los Angeles met in Brooklyn to celebrate the event together. Hunter Douglas Architectural guests included Patrick LeClair, northeast regional sales manager, Nick Inman, manager of specialty projects, architectural window coverings, Katherine Mills, architectural window coverings marketing supervisor, and Zoë Zellers, architectural content marketing manager.
Each year, a benefit committee selects a theme, tasking architects with creating an intriguing, conversation-starting installation for the Beaux Arts Ball. The 2019 edition was centered around a site-specific “Wave” installation inside Shed 269, a former submarine assembly building in Brooklyn Navy Yard. An abstract black-and-white graphic designed by longtime League collaborators Michael Bierut and Britt Cobb, of Pentagram, boldly announced the “Wave” agenda. The event’s program noted, “First Wave, Nouvelle Vague, Third Wave, Next Wave, New Wave, No Wave. Waves have long been used as metaphors for movements and cohorts that mark moments in culture. The Architectural League’s Beaux Arts Ball 2019: Wave celebrates these generative and transformative forces of waves.”
Molly Hunker and Greg Corso, of the award-winning multidisciplinary architecture and design collaborative, SPORTS, created “Ceiling Unlimited,” an immersive installation that hung high above partygoers on the ground floor of the expansive Shed 269 building. SPORTS is a past recipient of the Architectural League Prize for Young Architects + Designers, which Hunter Douglas Architectural is proud to support, as well as The Architect’s Newspaper’s Young Architect Award. As guests networked, “waves” of canopy fabric were activated through movement and stunning lighting effects designed by Ken Farmer, of Wild Dogs International. In the industrial space, Hunker and Corso used existing gantry cranes, which guided the canopy as it compressed and expanded overhead, creating spatial variation throughout the night’s activities.
A total of 326 guests joined for a seated dinner, before additional AEC industry members arrived for the party portion of the evening. Altogether 1,325 guests, from firm principals to young architects, danced the night away.
“Kudos to The Architectural League for creating such an energized environment and event to celebrate this year’s theme; The WAVE,” said Patrick LeClair. “It was a great opportunity to catch up with colleagues and to foster new partnerships throughout the architectural community. I’m looking forward to next year’s Beaux Arts Ball!”
Hunter Douglas Architectural is an ongoing sponsor of the Architectural League of New York, a non-profit organization and independent forum for architecture, design and urbanism, which presents a robust lineup of programming, firm tours, design competitions, lectures, exhibitions and more. To learn more, click here.