10.09.2003

Copy/Pasted from the front page of The Irvine Company’s intranet…

IRVINE SPECTRUM’S OBELISK
Posted 9/25/2003 (front page story)

Think Jedi Knight light saber.
That’s what Chuck Trevisan was thinking when he came up with the design for the 80-foot-tall obelisk that stands in front of Irvine Spectrum Center.

Initially, Chuck envisioned a design that could be internally illuminated. But he was a little ahead of his time. In 1995, when the obelisk was being built, technology wouldn’t allow that.

And since the obelisk also serves as a cellular phone tower, the obelisk’s design couldn’t incorporate a lot of metal — that would have hampered satellite reception.

The obelisk’s outer fiberglass covering actually is compatible with radio frequency waves, said Chuck, TIC’s vice president of retail architecture and planning.

Most obelisks have four sides, but the Spectrum obelisk has three. A four-sided obelisk would have limited the amount of surface space per side for the cell antennas, which required certain dimensions.

To increase nighttime visibility, raised circles were molded into the fiberglass covering, making it more reflective in the dark. Without the raised circles, the Irvine Spectrum obelisk would glare when the lights are shone on it after sundown.

This pattern of small circles makes the structure ideal for reflecting light from the 12 high-powered lights aimed at it every night — four lights are pointed at each of the obelisk’s three sides.

The raised circles also prevent the fiberglass panels from warping — something fiberglass panels tend to do.

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