The outdoor plaza fronting 300 Ashland Place in Downtown Brooklyn is now home to an illuminated public sculpture for all to explore. Titled “Breathing Pavilion,” the interactive sculptures are designed by Ekene Ijeoma and form the artist’s premier public installation in New York City.
Presented in collaboration by the Downtown Brooklyn Partnership, Van Alen Institute, and Two Trees Management, the artwork comprises almost two dozen nine-foot columns arranged in a 30-foot circle. The inward-facing portions of the columns are illuminated and slowly modulate in brightness to illustrate a deep breathing technique.
In a statement from Ijeoma, Breathing Pavilion is created in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic and systemic racial injustice in the United States and offers sanctuary at a time of intense hardship and loss.
Breathing Pavilion is part of Van Alen Institute’s Public Realm R&D program, intended to surface the work of emerging designers and test new strategies to bring people together in public space. Since March, the institute has coordinated a weekly series of wind and percussion solo jazz performances within the pavilion to provide a calm meditative backdrop.
The pavilion is on display through May 11.