That new vaguely Mayan looking mound with the flat roof suspended above it at the head of Rice University’s forlorn upper quad is artist James Turrell’s latest Skyspace — one of only 73 in various incarnations he’s made so far, and the the second in Houston. But it’s the first Skyspace designed for music — the kind you’d want to listen to while staring through a 14-ft.-by-14-ft. opening in a raised roof at the darkening sky around sundown, or a lightening one at dawn.
In advance of any unique OMG-the-sky-is-changing-color experiences you might have while sitting in it, the structure has been named Twilight Epiphany. It sits just outside the east entrance of Rice’s Shepherd School of Music. A sold-out, silent performance in the space last night marked the space’s public opening. Last month, the new structure, designed by Turrell with New York architects Thomas Phifer and Partners, posed for a photo shoot with photographer Karen Dressel:
An array of computer-controlled LEDs at the top of the mound projects a 40-minute light show on the underside of the roof, matched — for the audience inside — against that single lot of aerial real estate:
Dawn and dusk light shows are planned daily; A website set up by Rice shows the schedules — and a continuous countdown clock showing the time till the next performance. No skateboards, please.
- Turrell Skyspace at Rice U. opens to public June 14 [Rice News]
- Previously on Swamplot: Rice U Ready To Build Giant Ceremonial Mound in Center of Campus
Photos: Karen Dressel