“Clearing” is inspired by the memory and experience of the towering old growth Douglas Firs that once existed on the Grays Harbor College campus grounds. The work, which is situated within a 15’ diameter skylight located at the center of the lobby of the new Gene Schermer Instructional Building on the Grays Harbor College campus, consists of a composition of suspended colored glass pieces held delicately within linear stainless steel elements attached into the surface of the skylight. Integrated lighting and aluminum artwork elements within the terrazzo floor below the skylight complete the installation.
The client and design team determined that artwork should be integrated into the building at the very beginning of the project. The artist was brought onto the team during the early stages of design development when the general planning and forms of the building were determined but while the details were still being developed. The design team, client and artist all felt that integrated artwork had the potential to bring a meaningful focal point to the building that could engage students and visitors in the contextual narrative of the school. For this reason, the artist identified the large central skylight as being the location with the most potential for art integration and multi-level student engagement. The skylight is a unique spatial element that is experienced by visitors both from outside (where it occupies a landscaped, publically accessible roof plaza) and inside (as a welcoming element visible from the building’s entrance and located in the center of its largest gathering space). The concept and form of the artwork conceived by the artist helped inform the details and experience of the surrounding spaces in the building including the design of the floor and lighting during design development.
The artist met with the design team and client on site at the onset of the design process. The artist and architects exchanged drawings and models through out to ensure that the design of the artwork would be integrated seamlessly into the overall building. At design completion, the artwork drawings were included in the construction documents so that the contractor could understand how the artwork was to be integrated with the overall building construction. As a result, the attachment hardware for the artwork was installed by the skylight contractor such that it was completely integrated and almost invisible within the skylight. Lighting for the artwork was likewise integrated during the construction of the skylight and artistic elements supplied by the artist were integrated into the terrazzo floor during its construction. The overall effect is a building and artwork that together offer a cohesive and layered multi-sensory experience for the viewer that is unexpected and extraordinary.
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CODA: Collaboration of Design + Art
The global online community that celebrates design projects featuring commissioned artworks.
[ manifesto ]
Art matters. Attention to the details of our environment leads to love of place, which brings us to take responsibility for the spaces where we live and work. And by extension, the people with whom we live and work. And by extension, to our local communities, our cities, our nations, and our world.
We champion the role of artists in our society. We need artists to provide us with inspiration, creativity, and imagination, and to help us envision a better world.
Architects and designers know that remarkable design can change everything. They connect the dots across disciplines, collaborating with artists to make the world a more beautiful place. They are the ultimate patrons of the arts.
In the process, design professionals promote imagination and creativity, and through their commissions, make original art integral to and accessible in people's lives.
Art in our public and private spaces helps us fight ordinary buildings, ordinary streets, ordinary cities. We celebrate the extraordinary.
The architecture of our buildings and the design of our interiors affect our happiness and well-being. Each of us deserves a daily dose of inspiration.