Ishmael’s Passage: Fifth Floor Bridge Installation

Project Description

Given that the final project was to be site specific within Rudolph Hall, we wanted to choose a location that allowed for the installation to engage the building and its users. The 5th floor bridge presents the opportunity to create a sculptural installation, visible from multiple vantage points, as well as an interactive passageway that modulates light and views.  The construction logic dictated the form of the referential Jurassic rib-cage.  The tectonic lattice of plywood members utilizes the bridge’s compressive tendencies to hold it together at the base.  At the top, the members are woven together by a system of notches and pegged holes. The compressive force of the bridge and the tensile resistance of the plywood members create a gothic bow in the wood structure.  The intention of the project was to test the humility and piety of the student body.  Similar to the servant entrance of a Japanese Tea House, the participant is required to lower himself through the passageway. The arrogance and intolerance of the 5th floor occupants resulted in the destruction of the bridge as few were willing to sacrifice their pride.