Skip to Navigation Skip to Content
Image Details

James Carpenter Studios

Glass Scrim Wall

Vibrant shards of color are cast onto the Nancy and Art Schwalm Sculpture Courtyard at Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art (SMoCA) by this freestanding exterior wall composed of laminated translucent glass panels hung from a curving steel frame. James Carpenter Design Associates collaborated with architect Will Bruder to design Glass Scrim Wall as a physical and visual barrier between the outdoor sculpture garden and the adjacent street.

Fifty-six laminated translucent glass panels, each approximately 4 feet by 7 feet, are hung from a curving steel structure, 21 feet high and 65 feet long. Between each bay of panels is a row of laminated dichroic glass blades, which cast varying shades of color onto the panels. Glass lamination technology, coupled with a sophisticated, yet simple steel structure, enables large and heavy glass panels to have the appearance of a lightweight lantern.

From the street, the wall acts as a prominent marker for the Museum entry. Lit by the intense Arizona sun during the day and by artificial lights at night, it has an intriguing, highly variable presence depending on the quality of light, viewer’s proximity, and the direction of approach. Upon approach, one may observe reflected colors bouncing off of the white opalescent plaster exterior of the James Turrell skyspace Knight Rise.


Location7374 E 2nd St, Scottsdale, AZ 85251, USA

ArtistJames Carpenter Studios

DatesCompleted 1991

Newsletter Sign Up