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River Tunnel

Salt Lake City International Airport | Salt Lake City, UT | Aluminum Tubing, Fabric, LED Lighting | 18’W x 907’L; 30,838 SQ Feet | Installation 2024


Inspired by the beauty of Utah, as Huether’s other installations are, River Tunnel reflects the rivers that flow through Utah’s canyons and is featured in the 1,000-foot long Central Tunnel that connects travelers from the main terminal to the north concourse.

Stakeholders from the Salt Lake City Department of Airports sought an art installation in the Central Tunnel that would visually link the art features in the main terminal and the north concourse, creating a cohesive, congruous experience for their patrons. Huether’s River Tunnel installation draws from the theme of his earlier installations: The Peaks, The Falls, Plates and Benches, The Canyon and Canyon 2.0, providing a holistic experience for airport travelers.

Fastened along the ceiling of the tunnel, River Tunnel is fabricated in the same fashion as The Canyon: a membrane sculpture made up of individual “fins” that have an aluminum frame, wrapped with Tweave Duratech® 570C fabric material and enclosed with a zipper along the back spine. LED lighting is projected onto the fins in tones of blue, and a curated, themed music playlist will be incorporated, in order to complete the river effect of this installation. Gordon Huether has created a completely immersive experience, responsible for all color on the floor, ceiling and walls, lighting and sound in the Central Tunnel. Sound is delivered through 150 high quality speakers and the artist – in collaboration with the airport – created 100-song playlist.

The intent of the River tunnel art installation is to create an immersive, positive passenger experience.