Press Releases





Immersive “Luminarium” Sculpture is Coming to Norfolk

Architects of Air ARBORIA to be installed at Town Point Park


Norfolk, VA – In celebration of a seminal spring for Downtown Norfolk, Nauticus will exhibit a spectacular “luminarium” by UK-based Architects of Air to coincide with Waterside District’s grand opening. The walk-through art experience is half the size of a football field, and will be open to the public from May 11 through May 14 at Town Point Park.

ARBORIA is an immersive labyrinth in which visitors encounter a phenomenon of light, shapes and colors. A main focal point is ARBORIA’s 33-foot-high, multi-colored dome, which takes its inspiration from a 13th century English cathedral.

“We’re bringing something completely unique to Norfolk to celebrate an amazing year for downtown,” said Stephen E. Kirkland, Nauticus Executive Director. “With its cavernous domes, tunnels and pods, ARBORIA will be a terrific complement to the waterfront.”

Created in 2015, the tree-themed ARBORIA is an inflated structure designed to generate a sense of wonder at the beauty of light and color. Architects of Air “luminaria” are made from a special plastic that allows sunlight to pass through, creating color prisms. As the atmosphere outside the structure changes, the colors and patterns inside also change, similar to a kaleidoscope.

Since 1992, more than 3 million visitors in over 40 countries have experienced Architects of Air founder and designer Alan Parkinson’s incredible walk-in sculptures. He first began experimenting with pneumatic structures in the 1980s and has since developed his own language of form in this plastic medium.

“What motivates me to design is the fact that I continue to be struck by the beauty of light and colour found in the luminaria” said Parkinson. “These structures nurture an awareness of a pure phenomenon that gently cuts through everyday conditioned perceptions and awakens a sense of wonder in people.”

ARBORIA will be open daily from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. and is accessible to wheelchair users and people with mobility difficulties. Admission is $5 (ages 2 & under, free). Children under the age of 16 must be accompanied by an adult (maximum 4 children per adult).

The presenting sponsor for ARBORIA is ADP, LLC., which provides human resources management software and services. Community sponsors are Waterside District, Festevents, Seven Venues, Visit Norfolk, Harbor Group International and Downtown Norfolk Council.

Release date: April 18, 2017
Contact: Beth Bilderback (757) 664-1017

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