Starbursts

Sugar Land, Tx

2019


Concept
*Starbursts* is a sculptural representation of light and space through two structures made of galvanized steel framing members. The use of steel studs was chosen for the muted chrome finish that reflects light in dynamic manner while showcasing an unexpected beauty of a construction material ordinarily hidden by drywall and paint. The lightweight material evokes the strength and resilience of building construction, tying the soaring sculpture to the building itself. The starburst patterns, flowing outward from their origin points, reflect the growth of Sugar Land as a municipality, encouraging the public to explore the exterior, as well as meander through its translucent “streets”. The divergent directionality of the two structures shows a growth that is neither uniform nor static. Iridescent cords weave between a light-weight steel lattices. Gaps between the cords provide transparency, while also producing a dynamic moiré effect. The materials and the design celebrate the origins of the city, while expanding out into the realm of possibility.

Construction
The Starburst structure consists of two identical sculptures in a starburst pattern – mounted in an inverted manner so that the one is the upside down of the other. Each Starburst is made of 30 pre-fabricated ”trusses” around an oval opening. The trusses are identical in each Starburst and made of 2 steel frame members. A 20ft length is scored and bent at two locations joining partway down the length of the truss to create a triangle with the longest leg extending outwards to create the bursting pattern. The second member is used to connect and stiffen the bent triangle form, creating additional density at the origin of the burst. The individual trusses will be connected by a welded steel “belt” and hung from stainless steel cables to existing connections at the ceiling.

The Public
*Starbursts* is a dynamic sculpture that establishes an iconic collective focal point for the Sugar Land City Hall, engaging patrons below and above the installation as well as passersby catching sight through the windows nearby. As visitors turn their gaze or walk about the space, patterns in the background and foreground continuously converge and de-laminate, resulting in the perception that static surfaces are somehow in motion. It takes advantage of natural and artificial light, with its multiple angles catching and reflecting to create a visually stimulating effect when viewed from one position or while walking through or by the atrium. By reversing the orientation of the two structures, angles, light and perspective are doubled, achieving entirely different affects. *Starbursts* creates a dramatic backdrop for visitors and city employees to congregate and view the play of shadow and light from many vantage points inside the lobby.