Berlin and Mexico City–based architectural studio Zeller & Moye worked with artist Katie Paterson on a new land art installation for an olive grove next to the Norman Foster–designed Apple Park Visitor’s Center in Cupertino, California. Desert landscapes are at the center of Mirage the sinuous work of art comprises over 400 glass columns forming a wall that curves through the garden.
“Sand, so ubiquitous across Earth, is a marker of time. Mirage creates an experience of being enveloped by Earth’s sublime spaces,” Paterson said. “Each piece of glass is a portal to otherworldly landscapes. The artwork is dreamlike: the colors are contemplative, and the glass has a natural radiance, creating infinite reflections. Our hope is that Mirage creates a sensory experience that will ignite the imagination, connect visitors to the vastness of the Earth, and its precious wilderness.”
According to the artist, the pillars each stand at 6 feet 7 inches tall and are made of pure glass made from sand gathered from deserts around the world in partnership with UNESCO and international geologists; making it a “global artwork.” The glass columns were fabricated by expert glass makers and material scientists. To achieve their unique texture and color, each pillar has its own composite recipe to cast subtle differences in hue and texture that changes following the circadian rhythm.
“Visitors experience Mirage by walking along columns that reveal stories of the world’s deserts,” said Christoph Zeller, cofounder of Zeller & Moye in a statement. “The sculpture unfolds piece by piece, through gradually shifting color, surface texture and material consistencies.”
“The structure is designed in balance with nature,” added Ingrid Moye, Zeller & Moye cofounder. “The glass bars are arranged as a series of curved walls that meander through the grid of olive trees defining semi-enclosed space similar to an interior garden. The spatial composition activates the existing park landscape by creating an unexpected social and contemplative gathering place for visitors and staff to relax, to lay down on the grass, to have a picnic or to play.”