Prior to the lecture given by Mary Guzowski on Light as Material, I thought that a skyspace was just another way of describing a skylight, but I was wrong. She showed us the video of James Goldstein’s own skyspace designed by James Turrell and it was amazing. The way that light reacts to the sunrise and sunset is just remarkable. Never seeing a space like that before is mind boggling, and it just makes you want to show everyone else who hasn’t seen it. After seeing this space, I decided to do some research of my own, looking at another skyspace, at Rice University to be exact.
Accommodating 120 people on two levels, the space is acoustically engineered for musical performances as well as a laboratory for music school students. Constructed of grass, concrete, stone and composite steel, the pyramid-like structure is equipped with an LED light performance that projects onto the ceiling and through the 72-foot square knife-edge roof, that is open to the sky.1 Turrell’s composition of light complements the natural light present at sunrise and sunset, and it transforms the skyspace into a locale for contemplation and reflective interaction with the rest of the campus and the natural world.2
Composed of multiple materials and LED lights, this pavilion was designed to celebrate Rice University’s centennial celebration. While reflecting their campus very well, as its use for their music students and visitors to enjoy a wonderful experience as well as now given an opportunity to be able to perform in such an innovative design.
Seeing the reaction from the students at the university for the first time seemed to share a similar reaction in this video http://youtu.be/GrD5ylEn1wQ.