Helio Ray is a conceptual project underpinned by solid engineering knowledge and innovation. Mounted on the top of a tall building, it is fuelled by light collected from a Heliostat; a mechanised mirrored surface that automatically tracks the sun and gathers it into a concentrated beam. This beam of light when reflecting off a second custom-designed reflector that sending shafts of light down the side of a building creating awe-inspiring ‘god ray’ effects.
The second reflector uses a faceted surface designed to warp and distort in a controlled manner under the heat of the sunlight itself, providing a slowly evolving pattern of reflected light. The effect comes and goes like the real sun above, so is a true extension of the actual sun’s reach; a calming intervention in a man-made space. This main reflector is housed in an illuminated circular motif to draw attention to the form during night. Helio Ray can bring a sense of wonder and pride back into areas that had become transient spaces lost in shadow, rejuvenating them as landmark destinations. It continues a history of rooftop architecture in New York’s mid-height buildings such as advertising hoardings, water towers, illuminated signage and more recently phone masts.