"Sunrise at Matagorda Bay" Project


Petrobras America Building, 2006

Houston, TX United States

Artwork Budget: $155,000


Themes from the natural surroundings of Texas such as this installation entitled "Sunrise at Matagorda Bay", have been the inspiration for several art glass designs created for Granite Properties' buildings. A cloud-like cluster of blown glass lighting in sunrise tones, and multi-dimensional cast glass wall sculpture are arranged in each of two lobbies joined by an elevator lobby, with an additional lighting cluster. Forty-one pendants at varying heights 36-48" with blown glass cylinders 5 x 26" high form the lighting clusters in the main lobbies, and thirty-four pendants with cylinders 6 x 16" high form the elevator lobby cluster.


David Cunningham with Granite Properties said "I want a sunrise at Matagorda Bay!" Creating an art glass representation captivating the color and vibrancy of this particular sunrise became the artistic goal. The cylinder light composition represents the cool waters of the sea and the warmth of the morning sunrise. The wall sculpture design, lit with neon is pieced together with 1.5 tons of cast glass appearing to float off the travertine stone wall. The sculpture speaks as much to the negative space as it does to the glass itself. The exterior point of view was also a contributing factor in the overall design which is also viewable from the street and upper parking levels of the garage. Petrobras America now owns and occupies the building and this blown glass lighting installation has become well known throughout the state.


After onsite research and several design meetings with Granite Properties and Kirksey Architecture, a collaborative effort with all trades involved in the project, Wimberley Glassworks presented glass color samples representative of the sunrise light cluster. Cast glass wall sculpture concepts were designed and presented by Wimberley Glassworks in subsequent meetings. These wall sculptures were engineered and built into the wall of the building due to their weight and size, which involved the input of various contractors.

Additional Info

In order to meet the wattage needs of the builder and LEED parameters, a determined amount of pendants with 5500K florescent bulbs were utilized in the pendants.This project was turn-key and installed by onsite electricians using a provided schematic for light box positioning.

Project Team


Kirksey Architecture


Tim de Jong
Wimberley Glassworks


Kirk Tunningley
Big Dog Neon


Dennis Congdon
C W Lighting & Associates


Hubbardton Forge