Client: Denver International Airport (DEN), City and County of Denver
Location: Denver, CO, United States
Completion date: 2024
Artwork budget: $2,500,000
Danielle Roney Studio
For Denver International Airport (DEN) Concourse C expansion, The CONSTELLATIONS presents two, monumental, suspended sculptures based upon constellations positioned above Denver’s skies during the Winter Solstice: The Herdsman-Boötes and Summer Solstice: Pegasus. Charting a majestic journey reflecting the Airport’s personal universe, each highlights the enduring significance of cyclical seasonal transitions while reflecting the ancient human practice of celestial navigation.
As a timeless compass, the stars above can remind us of how we individually and collectively navigate our place in the world. In this spirit, the CONSTELLATIONS inspires an expansive sense of place, offering a vision that is both specific and universal; celestial beacons linking histories and futures.
Developed with multi-axis, aluminum tube, 3d printed luminaries, glass hemispheres and custom LED nodes, each piece measures 39’ W x 34’ 10”H x 15’ 7” D (Boötes) and 36’ 11” W x 34’ 3” H x 16’ D (Pegasus) and floats below dual 55’ atrium skylight views.
The CONSTELLATIONS extends beyond the two atrium sites to the exterior Observation Deck, providing passengers a Star Chart AR mobile application for real-world, real-time constellation viewing above the Colorado region and beyond.
Approaching the concourse’s two vertical atriums as liminal spaces connecting land and sky, The CONSTELLATIONS situates the heart of the rocky mountain region within the larger universal expanse.
The Studio's recent curvilinear CNC multi-axis bent material innovations were extended into dynamic 50ft constellations within the double atrium site development of two sculptures. The streamlined, gestural elegance of the curvilinear forms contribute to the clarity of the space and respect the larger architectural vision.
Encouraging moments of restful, calm contemplation, airport visitors have an opportunity to discover the nimble, shifting beauty of the pieces as they unfold in time beneath the exterior skylight views above each piece. Inspiring a sense of discovery, each satellite embraces a space of potentials, reflecting the extraordinary natural expanse and Denver’s unique social ecologies. The AR Star Chart application provides a deeper knowledge base tied to the sense of exploration travel embodies.
Situating interior airport destinations, each star position was calculated by their lightyears from Earth’s position, relationally creating a 3dimensional spatial diagram of their distances. These Earthly associations articulate the presence of the constellation stars, positioned as custom glass and LED connections, defining the internal curvilinear orbits of each sculpture, and finished in an elemental copper tone.
Through an iterative computational process, the artist expands beyond custom algorithms informing the final 3d modeling process to complete each curvature and its spatial trajectory. The original constellation connections provided the guidelines as a subset of rules to explore in a new embodiment of lightyears viewed by the human eye.
Each unique celestial star position is developed through a 3d printed process articulated into striated satellites of connection between the constellation orbits.