Roundabout the Mountain

Submitted by Gordon Huether + Partners, Inc.

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Client: The Town of Vail’s Art in Public Places Program (AIPP)

Location: Vail, CO, United States

Completion date: 2017

Artwork budget: $335,000

Project Team

Other

Felsburg, Holt & Ullevig

Felsburg, Holt & Ullevig

Artist

Gordon Huether Studio

Gordon Huether Studio

Overview

“Roundabout the Mountain” is fabricated with two layers of Corten steel, with offset mountain silhouettes plasma cut into the surface. The sculpture features integrated LED Lighting installed between the layers of Corten, illuminating the installation at night and accentuating the curvature of the roundabout location. The final visual element are blue fused glass blocks inset into the stonewall surface that add complexity, brilliance and splashes of color to this luminescent installation. The installation measures between 6’ and 11’ in height and 112’ in length.

Goals

The installation is both functional and artistic element at this I-70 Underpass in Vail, CO. It is part of a light mitigation wall at the south edge of Vail's South Frontage Road roundabout. The artist was engaged early on to ensure that the artwork is truly integrated into the site. The inspiration for this installation is the experience of swiftly moving through the scenic mountain landscape of Vail and the illusion of rows of trees “opening” and “closing” as one passes by. The 112-foot installation has a significant sense of pattern, with gentle mountain shapes juxtaposed with strict vertical ones. The two visual elements add a kinetic effect and depth to the installation. The integrated lights evoke the effect of sunlight twinkling through aspen trees and the beautiful colors of the mountain scape at dusk, adding drama and excitement to the installation. Underlining Vail's world-class cultural reputation Huether’s goal for "Roundabout the Mountain" was to convey the beauty of Vail's astonishing landscape.

Process

The Town of Vail Art in Public Places Program selected Gordon’s proposal from a pool of more than 80 artist applicants. Gordon Huether Studio worked closely with Molly Eppard, AIPP Coordinator, to ensure the project’s success and the studio team battled frigid Vail temperatures and snow during the installation process.

Additional Information

The I-70 Vail Underpass project received joint funding for design and construction from the Town of Vail via the Vail Reinvestment Authority and CDOT via RAMP funds. The location of the I-70 Vail Underpass provides intermodal connectivity between the North and South frontage roads at a location half way between the Vail Town Center and West Vail roundabout interchanges.