Artist James Turrell, with his “Skyspace” installations, creates meditative yet subtly kinetic spaces in which to observe and contemplate as the Earth’s rotation, with continuous changes in light angle and quality. This installation, part of the Suzanne Deal Booth Centennial Pavilion, on the campus of Rice University, was designed to host musical performances. In consists of a pyramidal grassy mound, topped by an elevated square roof with a square hole in the middle, and two viewing spaces below. Each day except Tuesdays, around dawn and dusk, a light sequence is projected onto the ceiling, framing the view of the sky, as it, too, changes color.
This space is magical and provides a unique perspective on the sky and light, even when the light sequence is not underway: at mid-day, at night, or as clouds come and go. You may be fortunate enough to experience one of Houston’s idyllic fall, winter, or spring days. In Houston it’s always practical to be aware of the potential for rain, yet stormy days might be the best for the space. Each visit is unique, and visiting just once is hardly enough.
Know Before You Go
The most convenient access by car is the Stockton Drive entrance on University Boulevard. The paid parking areas for the Shepherd School of Music are a short walk away. The campus is easily accessed from the Metro Red Line and a 15-minute walk through the beautiful grounds of Rice University. There's also easy pedestrian and bicycle access from the adjoining neighborhoods. Verdant Hermann Park is just east of the campus and one of the city's great outdoor destinations.