A Heavenly Light
Peter O'Brien -- Interior Design, 12/1/2007 12:00:00 AM
Stained glass carries the weight of a 1,000-year history. Think back toChartres Cathedral, then up to Louis Comfort Tiffany, Frank Lloyd Wright, even Gerhard Richter. Still, glass artist Sarah Hall has managed to make her unique mark with True North/Lux Nova, installed in a triangular ventilationtower for the underground theology library that Clive Grout Architect and Walter Francl Architect designed for Regent College, a Christian-studies affiliate of the University of British Columbia in Vancouver.
“All stained glass is born of fire and pigment,” Hall says. “Melding old traditions with new technology keeps the embers of imagination alive.”
Encased between the double layers of tempered glass on the 40-foot-high tower's front facade, photovoltaic cells power her installation's shimmering blue, purple, and white flames, produced by a rear column of color-changing LEDs. A two-hour loop—evocative of the aurora borealis—is controlled by a customized computer program and synchronized with ethereal contemporary violin music.
The colored crosses affixed to the inner layer of temperedglass are laminated dichroicglass, more commonly used for windshields on spacecraft. As for the ancient script etched into a painted and textured glass structureat the tower's center, that's the Lord's Prayer in its original Aramaic.