"River of Glass" Project
Granite Briarpark Green Building, 2013
Houston, TX United States
Artwork Budget: $250,000
The River of Glass installation was inspired by the beautiful Blanco River; a stretch of water known throughout Texas for its idyllic scenery. This conceptual watercourse follows the interior of the lobbies running North and South. Blown glass lighting in emerald tones scattering light through bubbly glass is complemented by an iridescent decorative finish applied as a textural current throughout the ceiling cove, spanning one hundred and ten feet.
The client wanted to include art glass lighting in the lobby of this building, a signature of this company's brand, that incorporated elements from the Hill Country of Texas, notable for its expansive, rolling terrain and wandering, crystalline rivers. The creative solution was to incorporate a native landscape-inspired stream and dry riverbed throughout the property's interior and exterior which would not only be different and interesting but also reinforce the path of travel for building tenants and visitors alike. Ninety-six custom pendants randomly placed in varying heights with glass measuring 18-24" high, meandering through a cove between twelve feet wide in some areas and six feet in others, give the impression of water flowing randomly as it would in nature. Created was an inverted river of glass and light that flows across the ceiling as a light fixture.
Collaboration among all parties with regard to design decisions were made in consideration of complementing both the interior and exterior finishes, which included river-like stone planter configurations and water features. A short section mock up of the interior design was assembled to aid in making decisions and adjustments.
The installation also includes cove lighting along the curves of the recessed ceiling channel. Because energy performance is important as well, the entire art glass assembly is fitted with environmentally sound, dimmable CREE LED bulbs. Each pendant was reinforced with airline cable meeting safety standards. Provided with this turn-key project was a schematic for light box placement, with installation done by on-site electricians.