From darkness to light

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

The “Tower of Hope” atop the CMHR blazed into brightness during the darkest week of the year. Crews began testing the 34 tower lights Dec. 17 in a 100-hour burn, designed to stabilize and extend the life of the lamps.

Part of architect Antoine Predock’s masterful design, the Tower is an illuminated beacon symbolizing the brightness of enlightenment: the goal of the human-rights journey. Open to the elements, amid massive glass shards, the Tower’s observation deck will give visitors the sensation of merging with the sky above, as they are presented with a panoramic view of the surrounding Prairie city vista.

The tower includes 334 custom-cut panes of glass, rising above the Museum’s “cloud” feature, which contains 1,335 panes. The tip of the tower rises to 328 feet – 78 feet higher than Manitoba’s Golden Boy and 25 feet higher than the Peace Tower on Parliament Hill in Ottawa.




Predock himself describes the Tower this way:

“Glacial in its timelessness, the Tower of Hope is a beacon for humanity. Symbolic of changes in the physical state of water, material and form, it speaks to the life-affirming hope for positive changes in humanity. An allusion to the vaporous state of water, the Cloud (below the Tower), houses the functional support of the Museum. With strong overlaps to the visitor experience, the Cloud is envisioned as light-filled and buoyant, in marked contrast to the geologic evocation of the Roots and Stone Galleries, providing a visible reminder from the exterior, in tandem with the Tower, of the power and necessity of hope and tolerance.

“The (Museum’s human-rights) journey culminates in an ascent of the Tower of Hope, with controlled-view release to panoramic views of sky, city and the natural realm.”

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