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Skyspace Wins 2007 Excellence in Design Award

The City of Claremont Architectural Commission recently named the Turrell Skyspace on the Pomona College campus a 2007 Excellence in Design Award winner.

The luminous art installation, designed by celebrated artist James Turrell ’65 and completed last fall, is one of only a handful of Claremont architectural projects to be recognized on the annual list.

Announced each spring by the Commission, the awards aim to “recognize and encourage high quality design projects” in each of 16 categories, ranging from outstanding design to sustainability. The Skyspace was one of just three projects honored in the Excellence in Design Category. The other two winners included a local mural and a Claremont resident’s luxurious pool house.

The Skyspace—a precisely designed architectural installation that heightens the viewer’s awareness of light, sky and the activity of perception—has garnered much attention from the national media and local community since it was opened to the public last August. Working in a medium for which he has gained worldwide acclaim, Turrell created an open, transparent courtyard space in which a floating metal canopy provides a frame for the sky above. During the transition from twilight to full night, lighting elements, programmed to change in intensity and hue as they wash the underside of the canopy, create the changing perception of sky as space, form, object and void. A shallow pool centered beneath the opening to the sky mirrors the daytime sky and reflects a dark echo of the night sky.

The first publicly accessible installation of its kind in Southern California, the nightly marvel of light and sky has drawn in hundreds of visitors from near and far, giving Claremont residents and non-residents alike reason to stare. --Travis Kaya '10

Pomona College Magazine article on Skyspace
The Chronicle of Higher Education audio slide show on Skyspace
Pomona College Museum of Art Skyspace page, which includes location and hours of operation