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Shining On

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For the first time in almost 50 years, New York has chosen a new official lamppost design to replace the ubiquitous “cobra head” luminaire. Local architects Thomas Phifer and Partners won with their sleek take on the snake. It’s perfectly nice, but among the 200 other entries, we found a few that deserve a second appraisal.

1. The winner (Thomas Phifer and Partners).

2. A utilitarian arc, with treelike branches, that offers ground-level add-ons like a (not pictured) ATM (Kevin Kennon Architect with Clinard Lighting, New York).

3. A Blade Runner–esque vision that uses LEDs as well as the more common high-pressure sodium lamps (Protostudio, Chicago).

4. Inspired by Piet Mondrian’s Broadway Boogie-Woogie and the sculptures of Donald Judd (Yoram Shilo and Yael BenAroya, Tel Aviv).

5. A reconceived cobra head that expands the shape of the snake into a geometric design (Florian Architects, Chicago).

6. A modern take on the classic “shepherd’s crook” design (Michael Sorkin Studio, New York).

7. A biomorphic shape inspired by running shoes and car headlights, coated in a braided-steel surface (Greg Lynn Form, Venice, California).


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