Kaleidoscope of Color Will Enliven 'Dark Spaces' Along Water Street

The Prismatica panels are laminated with a reflective film that change color depending on the angle of view. Photo: Screenshot from Creos video

Feb. 18, 2019

Determined to breathe life into some of the privately owned public spaces along Water Street, the Downtown Alliance plans to do it in a big, colorful way, if only for five weeks.

It’s called Prismatica, 25 rotating prisms more than six-feet tall that both reflect and transmit a kaleidoscope of color. The installation will be at three sites around Water Street and Gouverneur Lane, a pedestrian thoroughfare, from March 15 until April 21.

“It’s our goal that Prismatica will enliven these dark spaces, especially along the area of Gouveneur Lane,” said Taina Prado, the Alliance’s chief of staff. For the past three summers, the Alliance had tried bringing people to Water Street with the free block party, Game On. Now it is taking a new tack. “This winter we thought it made sense to do something in a different part of the season to enliven these spaces,” Prado said, speaking last week to a Community Board 1 committee.

The installation will make its biggest visual splash at night. Still, it promises to be an interactive eyeful at any time.The installation invites visitors to turn the prisms, producing a changing, infinite possibility of color—the viewer’s reflection included.

Created by RAW Design for Montreal's main entertainment district, Quartier des Spectacles, Prismatica prisms will be installed in three locations, 75 Wall Street, 77 Water Street and 32 Old Slip. An opening celebration, with performances, snacks, and giveaways, will be held on Monday, March 18, from 5 to 6 p.m.