the artwork for the new arrivals and departure plaza at the san diego international airport connects travelers to their current location – the san diego bay and the pacific ocean. two natural phenomena that occur in and around the san diego bay are the basis for the artwork: the unique giant kelp beds at point loma and the seasonal phenomenon of bioluminescence.
two distinct, but related art installations envelope the plaza: one visually enlivens the underside of the elevated departure roadway that runs alongside the plaza, the other one is located on two facades of the check-in pavilions facing the plaza.
a pattern of kelp leaves was applied to the pavilions’ façades’: the glass panes received a screen print treatment in two grades of translucency, and cut-out, painted aluminum panels were applied to the lower sections of two facades.
bioluminescence in the bay occurs due to a small marine-dwelling unicellular organism called noctilucales. these organisms produce small flashes of light stimulated by wave movement. this is the inspiration for a light projection onto the facades at night time. the projected light pattern is continuously generated from real time data drawn from a noaa buoy in the san diego bay, representing tidal motions and other wave characteristics of the bay.
a flowing pattern of kelp algae with schools of fish weaving in and out made from 1/8” painted aluminum panels are installed flat against the ceiling of the elevated departure roadway.