Mt Kailash Tower (2014)
Beginning with a study of the ancient Tower of Babel as painted by Lucas van Valckenborch in 1595 I was tasked with creating a monument somewhere in the greaterworld. As a case study the tower proved the power of repetition in simple elements across vast scale.
I decided to locate my monument in Western Tibet at the base of Mt Kailash where I drew upon two rituals of Buddhist worship to determine form. First is that of circumambulation, the traditional means by which one respects the mountain, completing a 32 mile journey. Second, the wrapping of prayer flags about a pole to celebrate the birth and death day of Buddha.
True to the nature of circumambulation I needed one path up and a seperate path down. Using the nearly 9 meter thick walls I hollowed out a path that could look out more and more as one ascends. Then at the top of the 200m tall tower a path toward the center give pilgrims a place to affix a rope of prayer flags and walk back down an interior path cantilevered from the wall to allow the rope free movement. At the end of the ceremony the hollow core of the tower would be filled with the volume of the prayer flags.