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“Leonardo Dialogo” Installation Brings Art & Science Together at Houston Research Facility

UTHealth laminated art glass ceiling installation
Laminated mouth-blown glass panels
UTHealth installation by Jo Ann Fleischhauer
Photos (above) by Ken Frederick and Jimmy Hemphill
Nanotechnology Center art glass ceiling
Photo courtesy of Jo Ann Fleischhauer

The installation “Leonardo Dialogo” at the Center for Advanced Biomedical Imaging Research in Houston, Tex., brings a long-lost partnership between art and science back to life. A one-of-a-kind, Lamberts art glass ceiling is an integral component of the two-part project. The ceiling of mouth-blown art glass represents healing, the journey to discovery, and the patient’s passage to balance, harmony, and wellbeing.
 
Artist Jo Ann Fleischhauer spent eight months gathering visual content to create her tribute to the achievements of science and discovery. During this intense study, the polyhedral “Buckyball” molecule emerged as a powerful symbol of the research and hope for decisive progress against the unsolved medical tragedies of today.
 
The entry doors, leading into the “Leonardo Dialogo” installation, are veneered with warm, honey-brown yew wood. The entryway corridor features a granite floor interlaced with complex polyhedral forms, creating a metaphor for the limitless questions and possibilities provided by nano-medical research. An expansive mirrored ceiling inspires wonder. The walls are stenciled with the Fibonacci sequence and quotes emphasizing the dialogue between art and science in the space. 
 
To transition the installation into the administrative area, Fleischhauer carries the corridor’s black-and-white palette into the floating white 12’ by 24’ art glass ceiling created from sheets of Lamberts glass laminated to three layers of low-iron float glass for safety and strength. Mouth-blown in Germany and imported exclusively by Bendheim in North America, Lamberts glass features pronounced yet subtle surface striations and small air bubbles,  unmistakable characteristics of the centuries-old glass production method.
 
“I looked at several different companies but when I saw Lamberts glass, I loved the uniqueness of each sheet, the seed bubbles, handmade quality and cloud-like patterns,” says Fleischhauer.
 
The concept of the glass ceiling took Fleischhauer to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Boston, where she collaborated with two artists, mathematicians and hot-glass experts – Martin Demaine, an artist-in-residence and visiting scientist in computer science, and Erik Demaine, associate professor in computer science.
 
The ceiling features 47 panels; every 22” by 30”, 55-pound glass panel is suspended by a metal rod connected to each of its four corners. The ceiling integrates waterjet-cut polyhedral shapes and is illuminated by LED lights casting elaborate shadows on the floor and walls. The resulting labyrinthine pattern symbolizes the researcher’s journey to discover and restore balance and harmony to the human body.
           
For more information about Lamberts mouth-blown art glass and to order samples, please call 1-800-606-7621.
 
About Bendheim
Bendheim, the resource for specialty glass since 1927, offers more than 2,000 decorative glass types in stock and unlimited custom design solutions. The third-generation, family-owned company develops, imports, and distributes its products worldwide. Bendheim maintains production facilities in New Jersey and an extensive showroom in Tribeca, New York City. Bendheim is the exclusive importer of Lamberts glass in North America. 
 
About Lamberts Mouth-Blown Glass
Glashütte Lamberts of Germany has been producing mouth-blown sheet glasses for over 70 years. The centuries-old production method requires extraordinary craftsmanship to create these beautiful and unique glasses. Their unmistakable character is expressed through their body, texture, transparency, and glowing colors.

This article references the following Bendheim divisions:
Architectural, Art Glass

 

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