Fire Lake Elementary School
Eagle River, Alaska, USA
7m95 x 19m50 W x 9m15 L
26'-0" H x 64'-0" W x 30'-0" L
The scale of the sculpture is conceived as a strong element of individuality for the school (a prototype building) and to act as well as a landmark in the area.
The entrance at the end of a central planted area was very poorly defined. The programme for this painted steel environment on the entrance plaza of the school was to design a "matrix of entering".
A hierarchy of spaces is created, moving from unordered exterior space (mostly wild nature) through monumental arches to a defined fore-court leading to the portico of the main entrance and then into interior space. Because of their historic associations, arches lend an aspect of formality to entering. (A commentary on the painted arch over the entrance is contained in the keystone motif in the second arch.)
The theme seems particularly apt for an elementary school in this area: the allusion to the "Fire Bird Suite" recalls the nearby Fire Lake and the form of "tail feathers" recalls native Alaskan totem poles, etc.
Material: pipe-Ø 152mm (6");
sheet and perforated sheet-3mm (1/8");
flats-100 x 6 mm (4" x 1/4").