Steel, glass, sugar, plants
10' 10" x 8' 11" x 10' 3 3⁄8 in. (330.2 x 271.8 x 313 cm)
Courtesy the artist and Pierogi Gallery
© Storm King Art Center
Foodies and design geeks are linked by a closely tuned attention to trend-making and aesthetics, which explains all the edible architectural models, installations, and photo projects popping up all over the place. These two realms come crashing once again in William Lamson's Solarium—an ecstatic collision of sugar and glass. Part greenhouse, part meditation retreat, Solarium was designed for the Storm King Art Center’s 2012 Light and Landscape show, which also saw entries from the likes of Anish Kapoor and Donald Judd (Solarium has now been de-installed).
The pavilion was made by caramelizing sugar at different temperatures to produce different tones ranging from yellow to brown. The sugar was then sandwiched between panes of glass to produce a gloriously glowing house on a hill. The pavilion serves as a greenhouse for citrus plants, while in the summer months 5x8 foot panels on each face can be opened to let in fresh air. The true success of the project rests not in its concept, but rather on the final affective triumph reminiscent of stained glass.