The monuments to the first men in space were dedicated today. Mayor Annise Parker officiated with members of the Russian community present as well as visitors from the RF. Notable attendees were Charles Bolden, the current Administor of NASA as well as Yuri Gagarin, the grandson of the cosmonaut.
Two pioneers in human space flight, Yuri A. Gagarin and John Glenn are memorialized in contrasting media, a perforated stainless steel halftone image of John Glenn rendered as a contrast to a bronze of Yuri Gagarin donated by the Russian consulate. Metalab, working with Architect Ron Witte and Artist Randy Twaddle developed a custom algorithm to render John Glenn’s iconic image aboard the Mercury Capsule by perforating the shape of the capsule in a staggered pattern with varying sizes to render light and dark tones. The image panels are delicately suspended on thin standoff rods connected to a powder coated steel frame. Each figure stands on a shallow plinth edged in cor-ten steel, in an historic dialogue on the site of NASA’s first manned space flight headquarters, now occupied as the Houston Parks and Recreation headquarters.
Photographer from the Houston Chronicle snaps a photo at the dedication ceremony on October 15, 2012 in which Mayor Annise Parker, NASA Administrator Charles Bolden, and Russian Ambassador Sergey I. Kislyak were participants.
We've been asked by Houston Arts Alliance to provide architectural and fabrication consultation services as well as construction management on a project that lies at the crossroads of the history of the space program in Houston and beyond. A bronze statue of Yuri Gagarin, the first man in space, has been gifted to the City of Houston by a Russian donor. A matching monument to the first US astronaut in space, John Glenn, has been produced through a collaboration between Ron Whitte, Randy Twaddle and Metalab. Based upon an image of Glenn in his capsule during his historic journey, an algorithm produced a gradient perforation pattern made up of tiny Mercury capsules. The 8' x16' panel accompanies the bronze statue and is sited at the COH Parks Department headquarters which used to be the US space agencies main offices in Houston before the JSC was built and NASA was formed.