Roundabout the Mountain

Interstate 70 Underpass | Vail, CO | Corten Steel, LED Lighting, Integrated Fused Glass | 6’ – 11’H x 112’L | 2017


Roundabout the Mountain is fabricated with two layers of Corten steel, with offset mountain silhouettes plasma cut into the surface. The inspiration for this installation is the experience of swiftly moving through the scenic mountain landscape of Vail and the illusion of rows of trees “opening” and “closing” as one passes by. LED lights are installed between the layers of Corten, illuminating the installation at night and accentuating the curvature of the roundabout location. The final visual element is blue fused glass blocks inset into the stonewall surface that add complexity, brilliance and splashes of color to this luminescent installation.

The 112-foot installation has a significant sense of pattern, with gentle mountain shapes juxtaposed with strict vertical ones. The two visual elements add a kinetic effect and depth to the installation. The integrated lights evoke the effect of sunlight twinkling through aspen trees and the beautiful colors of the mountain scape at dusk, adding drama and excitement to the installation. Huether’s goal for Roundabout the Mountain is that it conveys the beauty of Vail’s astonishing landscape.

The Town of Vail Art in Public Places Program selected Gordon’s proposal from a pool of more than 80 artist applicants. GHS worked closely with Molly Eppard, AIPP Coordinator to ensure the project’s success and the studio team battled frigid Vail temperatures and snow during the installation process. The location of the I-70 Vail underpass provides access to the frontage roads between the existing Main Vail and West Vail roundabout underpass interchanges. The I-70 Vail Underpass project received joint funding for Design and Construction from the Town of Vail, the Vail Reinvestment Authority and CDOT RAMP funds.