Text description provided by the architects. Hadrian Predock + John Frane’s project for the 2010 GLOW festival in Santa Monica titled “Luminous Passage” links the City to the Ocean as a porous and luminous land bridge. Connecting the existing Bay Street boardwalk to the ocean’s edge, the passage makes visible the connection across the sand to the edge of the Pacific.
This is a physical tensile structure that supports light and connects the urban landscape of Santa Monica to the edge of the water, but also forms a conceptual leap that transitions from the “logics” that define the city to the those of the ocean. Taking the vertical nature of the city and merging it with the horizontal impulses of the pacific, a visceral and intense space twists and emerges. Composed of luminous lines of color (Electroluminescent wire - EL wire), the ambitious scale of the project is a relatively simple construction with only six fixed paper struts as primary support.
From the boardwalk, the piece begins with serial vertical lines and gradually transitions and twists toward the horizontal. Emerging from the tunnel of glowing lines at the edge of the water, a space is defined akin to the classic California beach campfire - a gathering spot - where the wildness of the ocean is made present in sound and smell. Instead of a literal fire, a glowing orb defines the center of this space, slowly transitioning in color and pattern over the course of the night.
The overall piece is interactive at several levels. As a spatial construct, movement through the piece is transformational and sensate. Along the edge of the water the EL wires hang more loosely which naturally act as a field of motion in the wind. As a funnel and gathering space the piece encourages social grouping and interaction. Lastly, from discreet angles the piece is perceived in different ways, from the North and South appearing as a bridge-like element that filters movement up and down the beach, while from the East and West a tube of space linking boardwalk to water’s edge.