Raleigh Durham Airport

Submitted by Martin Donlin

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Client: Raleigh Durham Airport

Location: Raleigh, NC, United States

Completion date: 2014

Artwork budget: $365,000

Project Team

Artist

Martin Donlin

Martin Donlin Limited

Architect

Jeffrey Lee

Pearce Brinkley Cease and Lee

Art Consultant

Cheryl C Stewart

Cheryl C Stewart

Industry Resource

Jan Peters

Peters Glass Studios

Overview

A situation existed in the circulation area of the Airport between ticketing and security, the wall is 50 feet long by 25 feet high, the artwork had to address the fact that the bottom half of the wall is solid yet to top half is transparent, the design had to be one uninterrupted continuous surface.

Goals

The artwork is in a circulation area and is an ideal location for visitors to explore the intricate details within the artwork. The artwork is bold and vibrant at first viewing but contains many references to local plants and seeds for crops and vegetation the idea of growth was developed to suggest a nurturing environment in the Raleigh, Durham and Chapel Hill area. The Feature Wall at Terminal creates a large artwork in glass that allows translucency, transparency and also opaque areas where appropriate but to be seen as one entity. The artwork covers the entire area leading the viewers eye comfortably from one area of the scheme to the other utilizing a variety of treatments, textures and materials along the way.

Process

I had decided with the architects to treat the entire surface as one piece although certain parts of the design would be obscured by the stairs and escalators and another part of the design could be seen both back and front, the design contains a multitude of references to RDU area and the frequent visitor can always find something new to find within the artwork on each visit. I had also decided to use extremely large sheets of glass that required specialist engineering from the architects in order to support the artwork.

Additional Information

The artwork is painted on all four surfaces entirely by hand and is toughened and laminated with a small amount of cast toughened glass bonded to the front surface. At the security level the name of every city in North Carolina is etched into the glass surface, the colours are a “family” of warm earthy tones as a symbol of welcome with a contrasting series of “Tar Hill Blue” figures at one side.