The Skyspace Pavilion collaboration with James Turrell

Permanent Art Pavilion

Henry Art Gallery, Seattle, WA

Krekow Jennings, Inc.

Lara Swimmer Photography

Having been the lead architect on the expansion of the Henry Art Gallery at the University of Washington, I was asked by the director Richard Andrews to collaborate with James Turrell to create a permanent installation in the sculpture courtyard we had created in the expansion. Turrell, among the world’s most renowned artists working today, focuses on the manipulation of our senses of color and space in large immersive installations.

The apparent refinement and simplicity of this pavilion belie an extraordinarily complex orchestration of art, design, and engineering. The interior is a single sitting space for viewing the sky through an elliptical ceiling oculus, detailed in such a way that the sky appears to be a two dimensional film stretched across the opening. An oval dome closes over the oculus in inclement weather and preserves the visual effect. The exterior is illuminated at night by strips of LED lights behind the translucent glass façade, which go through a computer controlled sequence of slowly changing colors.

This project received Citation Awards from the AIA Seattle Chapter and from the AIA Pacific and Northwest Region

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