Buckyballs Take Manhattan

Finishing touches: Crew preps “Buckyball” for its big debut.
Credit: Madison Square Park Conservancy

Typically, a person would need a microscope to view a molecule of C60. Not so for two C60molecules, otherwise known as buckyballs, that recently arrived at New York City’s Madison Square Park. With their massive height and brightly lit sides, these structures, which compose “Buckyball,” a 30-foot-tall installation by Leo Villareal, are hard to miss.

As previously reported by Newscripts, the installation, which was commissioned by Madison Square Park Conservancy’s public art program, opens to the public this Thursday. It depicts two buckyballs, one placed inside the other, whose pentagon- and hexagon-shaped sides are lined with light-emitting diodes that bathe onlookers in waves of color.

Although there are still a couple days left until the installation’s debut, workers are busy readying the artwork for its big opening night, as Newscripts learned through the release of these accompanying photos.

It’s a debut that Madison Square Park Conservancy couldn’t be more excited about. “We are thrilled to have this monumental piece in Madison Square Park this winter,” conservancy President Debbie Landau tells Newscripts. The installation is “pure visual pleasure.”

Landau estimates that her organization’s latest piece will attract “tens of thousands of daily visitors.” The installation will run until Feb. 1.

How many men does it take to install “Buckyball”?: Artwork debuts Thursday.
Credit: Madison Square Park Conservancy

Author: Jeff Huber

Jeff Huber is an associate editor at C&EN. He enjoys finding peculiar news stories that make him laugh and/or tilt his head in a thoughtful manner. This hobby has served him well as a contributor to the Newscripts blog.

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