Building Passages

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Client

Location: Dallas, TX, United States

Completion date: 2019

Project Team

Christy Coltrin

Brad Oldham

Overview

After “Passages”, the visual keystone of the Energy Square campus, was designed, artists Brad Oldham and Christy Coltrin were asked to develop a second sculpture to compliment the main sculpture while holding its own unique space. The overarching theme of “Building Passages” is the investment in and building of community. The mirror-polished, stainless steel channel erupts from the earth, shoots to 17 feet high and 25 feet across until it re-enters the ground to ultimately feed into the sculptural installation, “Passages”, at the center of the campus. This is a glimpse into what often goes unseen in the building of a community.

The arch shape is critical to the success of this installation as it welcomes visitors to the south entrance of the campus. An arch is a sure-fire sense of arrival. Further, the organic, emergent shape of this sculpture speaks to the richness and unbridled brilliance of the wildest mind that, when tapped, learns and contributes as a part of this community. The melting stainless steel over the granite base reinforces the intense of experience of such energy.

For the viewer standing under the arch, a series of lights spell out “Welcome to Energy Square” in Morse Code.

Goals

The goal of "Building Passages" was to energetically welcome visitors to the south entrance of Energy Square and set the artistic tone for what the viewer would experience once inside the campus.

Process

Since "Building Passages" was the second sculptural concept for the Energy Square campus, the first concept of Passages was highly informative in the artists’ thinking. The second sculpture needed to be equal to the first yet allow "Passages" to function at the campus center as the visual keystone. Christy and Brad came up with the idea of exploring the activity below the surface, of what might be fueling "Passages". Once the narrative, sketches, and model were approved, the artists and their studio team took the concept through shop drawings, engineering, fabrication, and installation.

Additional Information

The stainless steel material, the mirror polish, the embedded lights, the shape, and the melting of the stainless steel over the granite base push the boundaries of stationary sculpture to function in a dynamic manner. While this was the second sculpture commissioned for the campus, it holds its own space.