University of Texas SW Medical Center Forest of Light


UTSW Medical Center

University of Texas SW Medical Center Forest of Light


Walter P Moore worked with local Dallas artists Frances Bagley and Tom Orr to design a steel and acrylic supporting structure for Forest of Light, an art installation on the level 4 roof garden of the UTSW West Campus Phase 1 building. Forest of Light is designed to create a welcoming and engaging aesthetic experience for visitors to the garden.  Composed of vertical elements that respond to both natural and artificial light and shadow, the installation provides the opportunity to travel through the environment as one would walk through a grove of trees.

 Varying in height and diameter, the vertical poles are made of both powder-coated reflective steel and LED lighted acrylic tubes which together allow for a continually changing experience depending on the time of day and the atmospheric conditions.

As structural engineer for the project, Walter P Moore’s goal was to select components that would be simple to fabricate, transport and install on site. To facilitate future maintenance of the electronic components and even replacement of acrylic pieces, the team chose a double base plate with counter-bored stainless-steel fasteners to anchor each “tree” to the ground. This system had the added advantage of allowing flexibility during both shop and on-site fabrication. A shallow gravel bed conceals these visible anchorage plates to avoid distracting patrons from the artists’ intended design – exceeding original expectations.