In this lightroom located on the mountain, the convergence of sky and earth can be experienced in a new dimension.
For the Skyspace-Lech located in the high mountains, James Turrell selected the location “Tannegg” in Oberlech at 1780 meters above sea level. A hiking trail leads to the small hill above the mountain station of the Schlosskopfbahn all year. Additionally, it is also easily accessible from the ski slope.
The sketches of the artist show a building predominantly located underground, that integrates itself in the landscape seamlessly. The main room is equipped with a circumferential bench and opens up for an open view to the sky. The entrance occurs through a 15 meters long tunnel. The location possesses a fascinating sight axis between the prominent Biberkopf summit and the village Bürstegg on the one hand and the Omeshorn on the other hand.
We seem not to be aware that we ourselves consign the sky its colour. We think that everything is predetermined; however, we do play an active part in creating the reality in which we live.
James Turrell aims to make individuals aware of how we perceive the world. With the credo “seeing yourself seeing”, he circumscribes his artistic approach that is connected with a deep understanding for natural habitats and landscapes. In collaboration with the gallery Häusler Contemporary, the association Horizon Field succeeded in winning James Turrell for the Skyspace-Lech. Deeply impressed by the high mountain landscape, the artist conceptualized the Skyspace-Lech that is specifically designed for this location in the autumn of 2014.
Taking a look at physical attributes of the project, the Skyspace-Lech is equipped with a mobile or dynamic dome. On one hand, this allows for the artistic concept of the “Skyspace”, with the opening to the sky. On the other hand, in its closed state, the dome also allows for the usage of the space as a “Ganzfeldraum”. Therefore, the Skyspace-Lech is one of few lightrooms in the series in which two very important concepts of James Turrell may be experienced.
As twilight falls, the walls and the ceiling of the Skyspace-Lech are bathed in color-changing light. The sky may then be perceived as part of the room through the opening.
The dome can be closed and projected with the second artistic concept, the “Ganzfeldraum”. The perception of the viewer is then irritated and distorted. The previously illuminated room and its clear structure dissolves.
In spring 2015, the sketches of James Turrell were translated into architectural plans by the project partners and architects Baumschlager-Eberle. In April 2017, the association Horizon Field was able to decide on backing the construction of the Skyspace-Lech.
The finishing touches on the Skyspace-Lech are well under way. In the last few weeks, indoor construction projects such as plastering and painting, the installation of the stone flooring, and the construction of the circumferential granite bench were performed. These undertakings proved challenging to complete as they needed to satisfy the highest quality and precision requirements.
In June and July, the installation of the light technology was carried out by the company Zumtobel and the mobile dome was mounted. Likewise, the exterior paneling comprised of stones featuring names of contributors was erected. In the coming weeks, the artwork should be completed with the light programming of the Skyspace-Lech and of the “Ganzfeldraum”. Simultaneously, final landscaping efforts (the very important renaturation of the hill at the Tannegg) will be undertaken.
The Skyspace-Lech will be accessible for the public within the scope of the opening hours from the 17th September 2018 onwards. Especially interesting construction phases can be followed in the journal.
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