Client: Sacred Heart Schools
Location: Atherton, CA, United States
Completion date: 2012
Joel Williams and Adam Woltag
The school song musical score is the basis of this glass mural. Dichroic glass fins of varying length are set into a glass mosaic tile feature wall adjacent to the school’s new Music Center. There are eight measures represented on the wall, four each on two lines. Each note is represented by a different length of glass fin. For instance, a whole note is 62 1/2″ long (based on the mosaic tile module) and a sixteenth note is 1 7/8″ long.
Integration of the wall mural into the architecture was vital from a design and technical point of view. Functioning as the focal point of a main courtyard, the mural also works as a way-finding device on campus for students heading to the school's Music Center.
From a technical perspective, the mural is part of the building's weatherproofing system. We needed to work closely with the architects and contractors to design and install multiple layers of waterproofing materials while remaining cognizant of the main aesthetic goal which was to seamlessly integrate the glass fins into the module of the mosaic glass tiles. There are no cut tiles on the mosaic wall.
One of the architects is a musician and developed the idea of interpreting the school's sheet music into a mural. We worked with the architects to develop a glass fin which would amplify the original concept by projecting colored light onto a white tile background. We experimented with various colors and shapes for the glass fins before settling a 3" deep laminated dichroic glass shelf with a 1" beveled edge.
As the sun tracks across the sky, colored shadows of blue and purple trace a pattern across the white background of the mural. Corresponding gold reflections trace a mirror image pattern across the upper white background of the mural. Depending on the time of year and time of day, the symphony of colored light from the glass fins either fills the wall or discreetly accentuates the musical score. The mural measures 23' wide x 19'-4" tall x 3" deep.