Sunday, October 13, 2013

San Diego gets a real airport, too!

It's not easy making a glass atrium appear bright and light-filled when outside it's dark and grey... Photo ©Darren Bradley
I recently shot San Diego's new airport terminal as part of the annual San Diego Architectural Foundation Orchids & Onions awards. The project is called "The Green Build at Terminal 2". It's part of a multi-million dollar expansion of our dinky airport to bring it up to modern standards, to account for both the draconian security measures that are now the norm at any airport, and to simultaneously try to bring a bit more comfort and humanity to the place by providing fewer chain restaurants and more local fare. I had a short window of about an hour to photograph this place. Naturally, it turned out to be a really crappy, dull, grey day with terrible light. So it was a challenge, to say the least. 

My escort made for a great model. Photo ©Darren Bradley
The award was for the interior design and the art installations, so that's what I focused on. This one here is called "Taxonomy of a Cloud" by the artist Stuart Keeler of Toronto. It apparently explores the linear architectural creation of the cloud form – creating a sculptural drawing in the air. Or something like that. It reminds me of the current Serpentine Gallery pavilion by architect Sou Fujimoto. 

Taxonomy of a Cloud by Stuart Keeler. Photo ©Darren Bradley

This isn't an elevator. It's a relativator. It is essentially a gravity meter that calculates weight and movement effected by speed while traveling between floors. It shows the relation between people riding in the elevator and the movement of the elevator. Got all that? I guess it's what happens when science and art collide. The calculations are different every time and displayed in binary code in the elevator relativator. This piece is by Living Lenses (Po Shu Wang and Louise Bertelsen) of San Francisco. 

Don't call it an elevator. (There's my model again!). Photo ©Darren Bradley
Another stand-out piece is a 700-foot ribbon of LED lights called "The Journey". 
Photo ©Darren Bradley

It depicts very low resolution birds in motion flying down the length of the ribbon. It's by Jim Campbell of San Francisco. 

And the last one I'll show here is Sublimare by Merge Conceptual Design (Franka Riehnelt and Claudia Reisenberger) of Los Angeles. 

Photo ©Darren Bradley

This installation is mostly on the underside of the elevated departure roadway. It's a literal interpretation of a giant kelp forest that alludes to the industrial kelp harvesting in the 1940s and its significance to San Diego’s environment and economy. The kelp fronds and schools of fish are illuminated aluminum cut-outs that transform the ceiling into a “kelp canopy” of sorts. In the not too distant future, the glass on the elevated walkways will be transformed to reflect an abstract projected light. The light projection will be developed from real time wave data received from a National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) buoy located in San Diego Bay. We'll see... 


Boris said...

Another beautiful project. In under an hour?? What’s your hourly rate, Mr. Photographer?
I could not contain myself from commenting on the “draconian security measures”. Less than two weeks ago, when flying from a provincial airport in Argentina to Buenos-Aires, they wanted to confiscate my mini-tripod which lives in my travel backpack for at least seven-eight years. They did allow me to go back into the unsecured area where my quick-thinking travel companion bought another backpack which was sent as a check-in piece of baggage. Flying back to the States from Rio, I saw in a custom designed transparent acrylic box (!) for confiscated items another small tripod. The terrorists are winning, I guess...

modarchitecture said...

Yes, it's sad how paranoid our own society has become, and most people accept it as normal. Of course, actions like the recent on at LAX don't help. But harassing obviously innocent people is not going to make us safer - although I guess it gives security personnel the impression of doing something.

As for these shots, yes, it was very quick. My escort in the airport was surprised at how fast I got all my shots. She told me that she's escorted other photographers and they all take hours to set up shots. I can do that, too, but didn't have the time with the short deadlines for these and my other work, so I had to resort to my old ways of "guerrilla photography" to get some usable shots quickly.

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Gracestefan said...

The draconian safety events that are now the standard at any airport, and to concurrently try to transport a bit additional ease and humankind to the place by if fewer chain eateries and additional native fare. I had a small space of about an hour to photo this place. Obviously, it twisted out to be a actually crappy, dull, grey day with awful lights & lighting.

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