HOUSTON INTERCONTINENTAL AIRPORT

 

HOUSTON BAYOU, 2002

Byzantine glass smalti covered columns, 8′ x 73′ Byzantine glass smalti mosaic mural, and floor design with terrazzo and bronze inserts

 

“The mural is the singularly most distinctive art element as well as most noticed in the entire art program for Bush Intercontinental Airport”.

- Richard Vacar, Director, Houston Airport System, 2005.

Experience the piece in George Bush Intercontinental Airport, on the ground level in the connector walkway from the A/B garage into Terminal B.

 

I approached this project with the concept of creating a complete environment that celebrates Houston’s unique bayou systems and natural beauty. Design elements are 8′ x 73′ Byzantine glass mosaic mural installed on a serpentine wall, Byzantine glass wrapping 5 large adjacent columns and a terrazzo floor design that enhances the mural and echoes the bayou theme.

 

I worked with the architectural firm to integrate art in the space. After the initial design phase was complete, I created a painting that was 1/5th scale. The painting for the mosaic was designed so that the mosaic mural fits the wavy of the wall, coming forward in perspective as the wall moves forward, and receding with distant images as the wall flows back. As the hall opens into the rotunda, the mural is continued onto the 5 large adjacent columns. The columns are 12 feet high with a circumference of 18 feet. The image of clouds and an open misty bay wraps each one. Native flora and fauna are featured thought out the mural such as oversized hummingbirds, blue heron, damselfly, swamp iris, and palmettos.

 

1½ million pieces of glass were used in the mural, and fabrication alone was a yearlong process working with 4 full time artisans.

My terrazzo floor design enhances the mural by using hand broadcast patterns that evoke the banks of the bayous. There are 40 cast bronze reliefs of native creatures; lizards, turtles, frogs, fish, inserted throughout the floor.

 

Read more about this work in ARTLIES.

 

Commissioned by the Houston Airport System, City of Houston

Fabricated and installed in conjuncture with Perdoma Byzantine Studio in Cuernavaca, Mexico

Architect: Rey de la Reza Architects