Clemson builders bring Bluesphere to Marion Square 

If you build it...

If you’ve walked by Marion Square in the last few days, you may have noticed a new addition to the park. Curious passers-by have been drawn to the unique structure, which almost blends into the trees during the day, but glows like a blue beacon at night.

The installation is a project of students at the Clemson Architecture Center in Charleston’s Studio V, and it’s intended to spread the word about Bluesphere, the Halsey’s Earth Art Expo that we filled you in on a few weeks ago. Professor David Pastre and his students have blogged throughout the building process.

“I have to admit that this is one of those projects that I have had the opportunity to work on with Clemson that has exceeded my expectations,” Pastre wrote in a recent post. “The most amazing thing to me so far is the split personality the walls have taken on depending on if you experience them in the daytime, or at night. In the morning or afternoon the walls recede into the background of the park. Nestled among the trees they have a calm presence and the light and shadow of the passing day dance through the slats of wood and continue to change from moment to moment, not unlike the light passing through the leaves of the nearby trees ... At night the project’s alter-ego arrives and the subtle and quite side goes to bed. The walls now call to those within eyesight of the park, 'Look at me!' The halogen spotlights mounted inside the wall’s pilasters create a cascade of light up and down the structure while the signage that was once a background element shines a bright neon blue.”  

While the construction wrapped up this weekend, the students are still working hard on a second project, a temporary stage and movie screen in Cannon Park. The installation will be completed in time for a screening of the documentary Citizen Architect: Samuel Mockbee and the Spirit of the Rural Studio, on Nov. 18. Follow the students’ progress here, and stop by Marion Square to check it out for yourself.


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