Commissioned by Storm King for the Light and Landscape show, 2012.
Materials: Steel, glass, sugar, citrus trees
Dimensions: 10' 10" x 8' 11" x 10' 3 3⁄8 in.
Like a mountain chapel or Thoreau’s one-room cabin, Solarium references a tradition of isolated outposts designed for reflection. Each of the 162 panels is made of sugar cooked to different temperatures and then sealed between two panes of window glass. The space functions as both an experimental greenhouse, growing three species of miniature citrus trees, and a meditative environment. In warm months, a 5x8 ft panel on each side of the house opens up to allow viewers to enter and exit the house from all directions. In addition to creating a pavilion like environment, this design references the architecture of a plant leaf, where the stomata opens and closes to help regulate the plants temperature. Set within the open the landscape, the house functions as a hybrid sanctuary at once evoking a plant conservatory, a chapel, and zen garden.
© william lamson 2013