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CATALOG NO. 363-2016
Spiral Dome:
Sculptures in Paper and Steel


Movable Paper Sculpture 4.75 x 9.25 x 9.75 in box, 18" dia. fully open
With 12 page book - Edition of 4

The Paper Sculpture is a movable book made of 145 unique cut paper parts bound with black Tyvek. Mounted on a six-part folding base, the book fits into a storage box. The 145 unique parts include 19 ribs, 18 double hinge sets, and 108 exterior panels that form 18 sections. The starting rib is permanently fixed to the base. To facilitate display, ribs 4, 7, 10, 13, 16 and 19 contain magnets that connect with steel contact points on the base.

Spiral Dome was designed with 3D CAD software. 145 unique parts for the Movable Paper Sculpture were cut and assembled by hand. Ribs, base and box are constructed of museum board; various papers were used for the panels and hinges. The hinge connectors and binding material are black Tyvek. Covers of the storage box and accompanying book are letterpress printed from polymer plates.

Spiral Dome Open

See also Spiral Dome: Proposed Steel Sculpture

Click on the images for an enlarged view of the work and more information.

Permanent collection - UC Berkeley, Environmental Design Library, Special Collections - Columiba University Avery Architectural and Fine Arts Library

While working on the Spiral Dome Movable Paper Sculpture, shown here, I realized it could function as a model for a permanent installation, which I call the Proposed Steel Sculpture. I made preliminary drawings for constructing such a structure. It is illustrated on the cover of the book.

To create the spiral in both models, 18 sections increment in height and dimension from the center of the structure by a factor of 1.014 for each successive section. The last section differs in scale from the first by a factor of 1.2666, or 1.014 to the 17th power. All elements in both sculptures – ribs, hinges or braces, and panels – increment by the same scale factor, as shown in the drawings in the book.

Spiral Dome was inspired by James Turrell's Skyspaces, enclosed chambers with apertures for viewing the sky. The Proposed Steel Sculpture functions similarly, but because the opening results from a spiral, the Dome will also capture direct solar rays as the sun moves across the sky. A drawing tracks two possible solar paths when the Dome is oriented to the south and sited at the stated latitude and longitude. With the sun low in the sky at the Winter Solstice, its path would be viewed near the top of the Dome. At the Summer Solstice, the sun's path progresses on the floor of the structure. Many sun-and-shadow patterns will be created as solar rays are projected and reflected inside the Spiral Dome throughout the year.

Spiral Dome case closed

Spiral Dome open

Spiral Dome with early morning sun

Spiral Dome out of case

Spiral Dome opening

Spiral Dome CAD Drawing