Threshold

By Philip Beesley, Stephen Ru and Lisa Jiang

Living Architecture Systems Group


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Threshold is a sculpture group that serves as a gateway within the Norman Y Mineta San José International Airport Terminal B. Threshold showcases a pair of radiant, intricate worlds enclosed within glass cases, framing the passage from the baggage area out to the city beyond. Threshold explores concepts of elemental life and new technologies for making our built environment. The forms echo aerial vistas that evoke the shared experience of flight and distant destinations. 

Threshold’s design relates to the theory of abiogenesis, the conception of evolution that conceives very simple first life-forms moving through gradual processes that become increasingly complex. Cellular membrane forms include swells, ripples, and upwellings. Sheltering qualities are found within concave forms, while defensive qualities are expressed through convex forms.

One glass case contains a counterclockwise-swirling cluster of flame-like currents with a shower of rays and beaming crystalline bursts, alluding to planetary auras. A second case contains a clockwise-turning flowing pool with dense masses of floating spherical forms each encrusted with tiny glass orbs, evoking the image of a well in the center of the world. Combinations of crystalline triangular, quadrilateral, pentagonal and hexagonal forms are arranged in multi-layered lattices and cell-like shelters.