Harry's Seafood Grill, Wilmington, DE  


This project, two years in the making involved the fabrication of a "starfish" for the ceiling of Harry's Seafood Grill in Wilmington Delaware.  

We were given aesthetic design guidance from the project designers, Mitchell Associates, for the development of the first of two mock-ups.  After the first mock-up the size was scaled back slightly, the sectional profile changed and the liner color changed.  The second mock-up was close to the finished product but a few minor adjustments to the design produced the finished product shown below.

The "Starfish" is twenty-eight feet in diameter and weighs 600 lbs.  Illumination is fiber-optic with 2,400 end-emitting fibers piercing the starfish skin and powered by three 75 watt MR16 illuminators.  The outline lighting is provided by side-emitting fibers lining the perimeter, powered by two 75 watt iMR16 illuminators.  The skin is a brass wire mesh, shaped and hammered to impart a texture to the surface with a red backer.  The skeleton is fabricated from aluminum sheet, rod, angle and bar.

The five tentacles were fabricated in separate pieces, each with a separate fiber-optic umbilical, which was to lead to a remotely mounted illuminator box.  Full size wood templates were provided to the contractor for mounting cable locations.  We provided the cables and Grip-lock mounting hardware, which permitted easy mounting and leveling of the tentacles.  The cables were painted and the fiber umbilicals were covered in black, to blend in with the deep blue ceiling.  

The installers, which were very nervous about handling the tentacles, found that they were able to hang the five tentacles and join them together in three hours, using only two men and our on-site guidance.  

Once mounted, the tentacles were joined in the center, from above with mounting plates.  The illuminator boxes were mounted and the umbilicals connected.  A hammered brass starfish ornament was fabricated to finish off the bottom. 

The variety of textures from the brass mesh and slightly protruding fibers, and the combination of colors from the red backer and brass mesh combine to give the "Starfish" a more natural surface texture.

We would like to thank Mitchell Associates for asking Klemm to build their "Starfish".