Skyspace by James Turrell and a-works in Hardangervidda
Light artist James Turrell and Bergen-based a-works office, practicing in art and architecture, collaborate on the ‘Hardanger Skyspace’ project, commissioned by the contemporary art center Kunsthuset Kabuso. The work is situated in a public park on the shores of the vast Hardanger fjord facing the Hardangervidda mountain plateau, the largest of its kind in Europe. The monolithic structure sits firmly in the landscape, composed of a series of custom prefabricated concrete elements. Its color recalls the local slate and its stepped texture reminisces the wood siding of houses and the nearby church. Evoking the character of the many sacred spaces before it, the volume is formed by stacking stones atop stones. The Skyspace simultaneously relates to its immediate landscape yet stands independent from it. The illuminated chamber is oriented in relation to the cosmic elements and forces beyond, specifically, the movement of the earth, sun, and moon.
all images provided by a-works
endless array of hues exposed in lit and fluid elliptical interior
Designed by the American artist James Turrell, the Skyspace’s stacked construction towers seven meters above the ground, shifting the spatial perception, with the actual height becoming apparent only up close when compared to the human scale. The straight-edged octagonal exterior gives way to a fluid elliptical interior that, once lit up, transforms into an endless space filled with color, as if solid. A perimetrical concrete bench surrounds a smooth and slightly curved concrete floor. The chamber’s body is shaped unanimously in one material. The elliptical oculus exposes the sky, which is no longer perceived as a set color, but an endless array of hues at the disposition of the ever-changing interior. ‘Solid mass melts into thin air and the intangible matter suddenly gains physical presence’, shares the Bergen-based studio.
massive solid stones stacked to shape the skyspace
smooth light hues gain physical presence inviting the visitors inside
solid mass absorbs the skyspace’s ever-changing colors | image by Elias Dahlen