Client: Oklahoma Art in Public Places, Oklahoma State University - Multimodal Transportation Terminal
Location: Stillwater, OK, United States
Completion date: 2012
Artwork budget: $85,000
Nigel R. Jones, RIBA, RA
OSU University Architect / Project Manager
Koryn Rolstad Studios
'Sheltering Movement' is a suspended installation designed to animate and fill a large curved open space above the public area which houses seating, tables and study areas. The project covers an area 175' long x 24' h made up of a series of 'cloud', 'lighting' and 'wheel' forms with cascading layers of white or bright orange (OSU colors), radiant and translucent polycarbonate ellipses emulating the dynamic sky and weather patters of the area, along with supporting the concept of constant movement. LED lighting changes colors during evening hours.
The Multi-modal Transportation Terminal at Oklahoma State University Transportation Center accommodates all types of student and public transportation and parking for the University and the Community as a whole. The goals of this project were to create a more intimate feeling in this large space, and to extend the use of the facility to more activities, including events and daytime study, as a destination itself. ‘Sheltering Movement’ is a dynamic suspended sculpture that captures the essence of the OSU transportation building with an overall form and detail shapes that reflect the movement of transportation as well as the building architecture. The elliptical forms reflect the shape of the bus-parking oval at the core of the facility and the whole sculpture visually leads transit clients to the heart of the building. During the day, the undulating movements of the multiple components capture the eye and at night the reflections dance around the interior of the building, creating a magical effect.
This is a public art project vetted through the RFQ process. Once selected, I chose the interior space, wanting to create a lively yet elegant solution for an area that was too cavernous, open and dark, and needed a lively context to support student culture. The Oklahoma Public Arts Commission and partnership with OSU supported my ideas, and I was allowed to push my concept as far as I wanted. Part of the project was installed in the exterior vestibule spaces, so the circular elements would seem to fly through the glass partitions. The OSU project and facility managers helped me understand the building and exterior environment, explaining issues such as birds, tornadoes, ice storms, etc. The final resolution allowed me to cluster the elements in a way that flowed from one area to the next. Changing LED lighting - there are 8 lamps and 6 programs - allow for a truly dynamic space, day and night.
One very important aspect for a public artist or any designer working on a University project solution is to be very careful with color!! OSU's colors are Orange and White, therefore no red or crimson could be used anywhere in the project, including our LED lighting programs, because these colors represent their dreaded enemies in the sports world. Therefore I made sure I wore orange and painted my toenails the same orange color, just in case!