Client: Allan Berger of Bright Eyes & Bushy Tails Veterinary Hospital
Location: Iowa City, IA, United States
Completion date: 2017
Artwork budget: $50,000
Bright Eyes & Bushy Tails Veterinary Hospital
Solar Labyrinth is a solar powered work of public art approximately 12' x 12' and 8' tall at the tallest point. 14 solar panels generate 1400W of power which charges a central battery to illuminate the structure at night. Materials include concrete, bricks, aluminum, plexiglass, LED lights, and solar panels.
This project was an outgrowth of a 40kW solar installation on the roof of a veterinary hospital building. The goal of the project was to design a creative solar powered work of art that would add to the visual presence of the solar panels on the building while also creating an exciting work of public art.
I was contacted by Dr. Allan Berger of Bright Eyes and Bushy Tails Veterinary Hospital in Iowa City, IA and asked about the possibility of designing a solar powered sculpture that would be beautiful and visually engaging for the public while using the materials and aesthetic of the building in a creative way. Through many collaborative discussions about the project, we eventually came to the idea of a labyrinth as the basic structure. The ancient Greek myth of the Minotaur became a focus of this discussion and the labyrinth form was the resulting physical embodiment of this ancient story. Each of the 14 panels on the interior of the structure depict a different animal in a simple line drawing. Each animal is surrounded by a sine wave pattern to reference the path of the sun. In the future, a Minotaur sculpture will be added to the center of the labyrinth to complete the project.