James Turrell is famous for his work with light and space. He is best known for his work in progress, Roden Crater, where he is turning a volcanic crater outside Flagstaff, Arizona, into a monumental work of art. In Zuoz, Switzerland, James Turrell realized one of his skyspaces, rooms that are conceived to enable viewers to view the sky through an opening in the roof. Skyspace Piz Uter was set up on the initiative of the Walter A. Bechtler foundation and specifically developed for Hotel Castell in Zuoz. Häusler Contemporary negotiated and managed the project.
In this video, Gianfranco Schiavano of Häusler Contemporary talks about the characteristics of the project (in German language). James Turrell’s works for the “Skyspace” focus on the interaction between architectural internal space and natural external space by bringing the sky into the opening in the ceiling. In principle, the artist of Skyspace Piz Uter is concerned with “structural cuts” with openings completely above the line of the horizon and cut into the ceiling and roof. The impressive change in the sky and its colors can be appreciated during the transition from day to night.
James Turrell’s Skyspace Piz Uter won an honorary award in the Daylight-Award competition of Velux Stiftung. The “Skyspace Piz Uter” of James Turrell is considered by the jury as the most poetic project. “The artwork shows the essence of light in a building in an unrivalled consequence.” On the 14th January 2010, the Velux Foundation presented the second Daylight-Award in the S AM Swiss Architecture Museum in Basel. The presentation was realized in collaboration with the Department of Architecture of the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (DARDEN ETH), Zürich and the S AM Swiss Architecture Museum. Winner of the Daylight-Award 2010 is the Therme Vals of Peter Zumthor in Vals, Switzerland. Two honorary awards go to James Turrell for his Skyspace Piz Uter in Zuoz and to Isa Stürm Urs Wolf Architects for the Kunst(Zeug)Haus in Rapperswil, both in Switzerland. An additional honorary award goes to Prof. Anna Wirz-Justice. The Daylight-Award aims to encourage developers, planners and specialists to systematically use daylight in order to increase quality of life and energy efficiency. VernissageTV realized three short documentaries for Velux Stiftung about the awarded works. The videos are already available at the website of Velux Stiftung.
James Turrell: Skyspace Piz Uter, Zuoz, Switzerland.
> Right-click (Mac: ctrl-click) this link to download Quicktime video file.