SOL Grotto by Rael San Fratello Architects

Hi-Tech Glass Tubes for a Contemplation Retreat

Rael San Fratello Architects has found a new purpose for 1368 leftover glass tubes from bankrupt panel manufacturer Solyndra.

For the Natural Discourse group show, the studio used the tubes for an installation deep in the natural haven of Berkeley's Botanical Garden. The tubes connect a cabin’s interior and exterior, lighting it naturally with daylight – and thus varying their luminosity throughout the day – while amplifying outside sounds for a more intense contemplation experience inside.

While isolating the visitor from natural surroundings, the installation enhances the sensual perception of the environment.

The exhibition is a collaborative project between The University of California Botanical Garden at Berkeley and a multi-disciplinary group of artists, writers, architects and researchers; it will be on view until 20 January 2013.
 
Photos courtesy Matthew Millman.

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