For the first half of the 20th century, timber elevators stored grain from the Palouse region of Eastern Washington. The grain elevators were constructed from cheap, readily available materials: 2” x 6” lumber, milled from old-growth tamarack and Douglas fir, laid flat and nailed together to form thick wooden walls.
Most of these wooden structures have been replaced by galvanized steel cylinders. The timber in the old elevators, once burned for scrap, is reclaimed as wood flooring and molding, valued for its tight grain, oxidized color, and the iron-stained traces of nail holes.
Night Blooming is constructed from the too-short leftovers of the salvage operation. It is a catenary dome, 10 feet in diameter by 13’ 6” high. When curved walls are built from square cut timber, wedge-shaped voids appear where the boards meet. Daggers of light split the dark space within, rising to the apex in a tightening spiral.
Night Blooming features the work of Taiji Miyasaka, Associate Professor + Program Coordinator for the Architecture program, and David Drake, Fabrication Labs Manager. It is currently on display at the Bellevue Art Museum as part of the BAM Biennial 2014: Knock on Wood.
Special thanks go to the following colleagues and students at the School of Design + Construction for their help with this project: Chris Masicampo, Irene Arzaga, Jannita Bolin, Vlanka Catalan, Fernando Felix, Uris Giron, Gerardo Gomez, Janessa Johnson, Nichole Kates, Tuyuka Lara, Tianze Li, Olivia Nisbet, Nandita Rajakumar, Jesse Ridenour, and Richard Tung
Thank you to the following for graciously donating materials to the project: Lenard Mathias, Western Heritage Flooring, Garfield, WA, and Jeffery Williams, Genesee, ID
Additional coverage can be found in a recent article by the Seattle Times, “Bellevue Arts Museum biennial puts wood on a pedestal.”