2019 / On-site Installation. Mesh of coloured elastic cords within structure / 27′-0″x 25′-0″x 10′-4″
Installed in the Coloradan Building in Denver, Corolla is inspired by the rich vastness of Colorado’s natural landscape. The site-specific installation re-envisions the Colorado State flower, the Colorado blue columbine, as a network of vibrantly colored threads that transition from warm pollen-like colors into cool color petals. By adapting and integrating within the existing architectural conditions, Corolla invites the viewer to explore visual perception through movement, shifting perspectives and color interplay using optical effects.
The aerial sculpture hangs in the double-height space of a semi-public lobby within a hip new residential block located in the Union Station neighborhood of downtown Denver. At the intersection of residential, retail and infrastructure, the 334-apartment building is part of a strategic revitalization of Denver’s downtown through housing, cultural and transit development. Corolla both absorbs and reflects the social – urban connectivity represented in the lobby’s semi-public pass through space, which provides direct access to the city’s main train station as well as several retail shops. Experienced from both the ground floor and mezzanine levels, Corolla magnifies the materiality of the surrounding architecture, while also embodying the rhythm of the natural circulation.
From a structural point of view, Corolla is suspended by a six-post cylindrical support with integrated angles forming attachments that are mounted in three places: the window frame of the building’s entrance, the mezzanine level guardrail and the double-height ceiling. The colored elastic cords are stretched and threaded through the powder coated perforated steel structure, dissolving into the architecture as hidden knots at the three points of attachment. The result is a vaulted apparition– a floating chandelier of string, color and light– which evolves from a tight, star-shape symmetry in the center, to asymmetrically twisting planes as it gets pulled towards the periphery, compelling even the busiest passerby to pause and look straight up.
Corolla was designed as a dynamic object meant to reflect the experience of multiple perspectives at once. Its many layered planes become more or less dense as one moves through the space, revealing a specific color or allowing several to blend by overlapping. Dense yellow hues intersect with orange-hued strings in the dome, whereas more sparsely concentrated greens and blues extend to the mezzanine and ceiling. The intricate and interwoven patterning, with varied densities of string and linear tension, produces numerous possibilities for optical play through geometric abstractions and color combinations. The lighting scheme is integrated into the support structure, such that Corolla brightens the space with ambient hues, while the shadows cast by the strings appear to filter the light and multiply the layers of color, imbuing the piece with an ethereal quality.
Art Consultant: Easel Art Consulting; Laura Reagan.
Client: East West Partners; Jay Lambiotte, Katie Wear.
Building’s Architect: GBD architects; Scott Martin, Craig Norman, Michael Coon
Structural Consultant: Mariano Molina & KPFF; Andrea.Hektor, Sean Kelton
Lighting Consultant: Glumac; Jesse Smith, Alejandra Paniagua
Assistant Installation; Carolina Heras
Installation: Art Installation Services; Isaac Karner, J Clay, James Anderegg, Steve Anderegg, Stephen Alsobrook, Jeff Richards, Eric Wall, and Kellan Loew
Structure Installation: Buildmark; Jamie Schwarz, Patty Yanker, Dave Goshorn
Installation documentation: Connor McKeen
Computer Visualization: Mateo Fernández-Muro (renderings), Amir Amiri (software consultant)
Images and video by Imagen Subliminal (Miguel de Guzman + Rocio Romero)