heaven between is a leafy dome suspended within the central boulevard of Broadway, in Downtown Winnipeg. The project utilizes natural light and shade of the day and then generates sensations of a mysterious internal candlelight at night.
A dome was selected because it forms a kinship with the 3 great domes of Winnipeg; the Legislature, the Train Station and the elliptical wonder within the Hotel Fort Garry; all of which reside along this majestic, beaux art avenue. This dome, however, is not doing what those domes do; it is not exercising its time-proven duty of pulling gravity to the ground. Rather, it is suspended and disengaged from the earth to suggest something fantastical.
The dome is patterned with cutout silhouettes of elm leaves to directly reference the grand trees of the boulevard, planted over 100 years ago by visionary city-makers. From the outside, these leaves appear relatively random. However, when one looks up the centre, a kaleidoscopic event occurs; a mandala. This is because they are organized in a pattern borrowed from the geometric studies of the great physicist and philosopher, Roger Penrose. His geometry describes shapes found at many scales in the natural world, ranging from tiny crystal structures all the way up to theoretical quantum relationships of the universe. The studio modified the pentagonal structure of the Penrose pattern into a six-sided geometry to realign to a six-ribbed structural concept, favored by our engineers.
The consequent pattern is, therefore, both disordered and ordered, depending on where one stands. It simultaneously pays homage to the symmetric Edwardian spirit of the street while also exploring the role that geometry, vision and position plays in our understanding of 21st Century space.
The dome is an archetypal symbol of the vault of the sky, and heavens above; being a boundless space that has enthralled the disciplines of science, art and metaphysics for the length of human history. One can say that the dome is between sky and earth because it is the liminal boundary describing the very edge of both.
This suspended lightwork is meant to provide an image of simultaneous comfort and wonder within the multi-cultural milieu of the Canadian city, for the shapes and symbols are universal . The flickering light suggests that a large candle is illuminating Winnipeg at night…a burning ember of generational continuance and a symbol of welcoming to the ever-evolving pluralistic demographics of Canada.
Broadway, Winnipeg, Mb., Canada
Winnipeg Arts Council and the City of Winnipeg
Thomas Gaudin, Bill Pechet, Shizuka Sasaki, Gabe Daly and Sam McFaul, Chris Pekar from CDm2 Lightworks, Vancouver
Crosier Kilgour Structural Engineers, SMS Electrical Engineers, Dyregrov Robinson Geotechnical Engineers
Fabricators and Contractors
Parr Metal Fabricators, OB1 Contractors, Control Electric
Thomas Gaudin for the Pechet Studio, Fabrication Photos by Tricia Wasney, Winnipeg Arts Council, Robert Tinker