Regardless, below is the entry I submitted in collaboration with artist--and fellow Brooklynite--Jong Il Ma. The winning project will occupy the future site of the SLC Ballet West dance company, to be built next spring with a budget of $46,000 for design, materials and labor.
View from Southwest
Rubato: Rhythmic flexibility within a phrase or measure; a relaxation of strict time.
This light, whimsical structure will embody and encourage a dynamic action and interaction with its inhabitants. Rubato might be employed by the ballet company—or other artists—for outdoor performances open to the public, either as a backdrop or as an integral participant in the performance.
A series of ribs created from segments of poplar lumber dance across the site, intertwined with an array of crisscrossing nylon ropes (a potential supporting structure for a canopy of snow in winter). Inspired by Salt Lake City’s mountainous surrounds and the grace of the ballet, the basic profile of the arch repeats itself throughout. The scale of the arches is modulated between three sizes. Each arch is a mirror image of the previous component and offset to varying degrees. Combined with the variation in height, this lends the overall composition a richness and complexity that belies its economical and repetitive elements. While visitors might experience a continuous winding procession through the arches, the structure pulls apart at alternating intervals to allow lateral passage. The composition and movement of the structure create large pockets of space ideal for performances, temporary merchant stands or simply relaxation and enjoyment.
Composed of readily available materials, the installation will tread lightly on the ground, directing its energy—and our attention—skyward. Taking cues from the rich landscape of the region, red gravel will be employed to blanket the site with a monochromatic stage from which the structure will spring. The ground plane of the site will be minimally disturbed with a series of concrete footings to support the poplar arches, mediated with steel plate and bolt connections. Light and ephemeral, when its temporary occupation of the site has run its course, the project may be dismantled just as swiftly as it arrives.