One of the challenges in our world of tensile architecture is defining and communicating what type of projects are the best representation of the discipline. The answer is never simple. This month’s project “Skyspace: Air Apparent” is a great example of Ronstan tensioning elements being used to provide a solution for suspending a ¼” thick, 16 ton steel plate in this very unique art exhibit by Artist James Turrell and Architect William P Bruder.
The exhibit, described fully on the Arizona State website and excerpted here, is a one of a kind structure that blends art with comfort, accessibility and safety in the University setting. The structure contains 480 LED color-changing light fixtures, each programmed by the artist to illuminate the canopy above during sunset and sunrise, and to amplify the viewer’s experiences of light, color and perception during twilight hours.
Ronstan collaborated with several parties to see the project through to reality. Working with the Arizona headquarters of Certex USA Lifting Products and Pfeifer Cable Structures; Ronstan delivered the 1” and 1 1/4” cables used to suspend and support the unique structure. The result is an exhibit that allows visitors to see, feel and experience only the elements of the display that the artist intended.
The architecture of the ASU Skyspace by James Turrell is a contemporary interpretation of ancient Hohokam shade ramadas, pit houses and baskets. To realize the work of James Turrell, it was designed in collaboration with architect William P. Bruder and redefined in a minimal sculptural formwork of 21st-century concrete and steel.