Walter De Maria’s 1977 “Earth Room” instills a deep sense of curiosity for understanding the nature of space, architecture, and the city. The Earth Room causes an immediate and permanent sense of wonder about the possibility of our city — and architecture & urbanism at large. It is a public room open to anyone who is inquisitive. All manner of urban and architectural ecologies intersect in the Earth Room with great attention. This is achieved with ingenious tectonic articulation and an absolute control over architecture. The project makes present the forces which give architecture and the city shape and shape our experiences within it. It reminds us that architecture and urbanism are full of exception and normality, challenging us to seek out and understand both. It compels one to tell other people about it, and that is how it is discovered. It is part of a network of cultural infrastructure and is an act of cultural production itself. Its presence in the collective imagination of our city is discursive and mutable.
The Earth Room