Rooted in the long history of this particular place, this campfire on the edge of the water was significantly inspired by the Native American legend of the ‘Great Spirit’. Passed down through the generations, the story tells of the Great Spirit assigning guardianship of the earth, wind, fire and water and also assigning them a direction – TO NORTH THE GREAT SPRIT GAVE FIRE. Using the geometric center of the Tempe Center for the Arts semi-circular plan, a line was struck on the true north alignment. This axis emanates outward from the project and extends across the water, through the foothills of the Papago Buttes, Camelback Mountain and beyond, connecting to a much larger context. Lining up the two flames, viewed through a strategically placed aperture, connects the individual to this greater perspective. Early walks on the site revealed something interesting, a bit of unexpected magic. The ground seemed to sparkle. A photograph of this phenomenon, thought of as a site-specific constellation, was mapped on the surface of the black concrete mass and determined the particular placement of 120 individually cast resin rods. Suspended within each resin rod is some special aspect of the project; sketches from the process, correspondence, screen plays, sheet music, poetry or natural object collected from the site, embedded in time. The project endeavors to make a meaningful connection with this time and this place, honoring those that have come before, the power of direction, the North Star, the mesmerizing beauty of a simple fire and the timeless wonder of the night sky.


26 photos

Building Activity

  • OpenBuildings
    OpenBuildings added a digital reference
    about 6 years ago via
  • added 2 digital references
    about 6 years ago via