Our built environment plays a critical role in shaping our lives. Today’s modern Architecture exemplifies this through the commonly used practice of designing buildings under the principle “Form follows Function.” In other words, the building’s shape is determined by the activities that occur within. The result of this mentality, coupled with ever-pressing financial restraints has, in most cases, resulted in an architecture that is less than inspiring. Some would say that the “disappearance” of the building itself is a sign that the design is successful by allowing the activity that is taking place to be the star of the show. In other words, if you are not captivated or distracted by the surroundings then you can focus on the reason you are visiting, working, or shopping in the building. Others would argue our environment has the ability to enhance our activity. Would you rather work in a drywall box painted white or would you feel more inspired, more productive, more engaged, by working in a well-lit room with warm wood trim accents and ample daylight spilling in through windows that allow a view to the outdoors. Where would you feel more inspired? I know! Me too! So, with that in mind I want to offer up the first Victory in Vibrant Architecture Award (ViVA) right here. As I come across examples of Architectural work that is well done I will share them with you, right here. To be sure, when I come across something better suited to a bulldozer than an award I will share those as well.
I thought, “this is a nightmare! Why would anybody do this to a building?” The vast array of colors changes so quickly across the room it can leave a person disoriented not to mention the difficulty of spending long periods of time exposed to light filtered in colors other than natural daylight.
The project is by artist Christopher Janney and revolves around the 72 foot long window wall which consists of a series of tinted glass in color combinations that run the full spectrum of colors.
It was not until I studied the project a little deeper I caught the intention behind the design and fell in love with the solution presented here.
The installation is set in a connecting link at the Miami International Airport moving passengers from one space to another. The beauty behind the piece is, of course, that this is a space whose purpose is to move people along. A space where there is no real purpose to linger for a long time. The casting of color across the floor, through the full spectrum of colors, doesn’t become a distraction because nobody is spending long periods of time exposed to it. Additionally, there is the opportunity to turn what is otherwise a very bland, nondescript place, into something that gives rise to travel-weary passengers heads. A chance to look up and experience something unexpected. Turning an otherwise lousy walk from gate to baggage claim into something worth experiencing.
In addition to the visual aspect of this adventure is the audio aspect which is piped into the space keying on all the sounds Miami has to offer. Touching the senses, adding life. A space meant to move people with the capacity to add, rather than detract, from the travel experience. A job well done. Congratulations Christopher Janney on earning ViVA I.