Photographer's Note

Martel Hall is a large open three-story space inside Duncan Hall, at Rice University. The hall contains doorways to most of the classrooms in the building, some lecture halls, and an auditorium, and stairs that lead to the second and third floors.

You can always tell when people enter Martel Hall for the first time. Their eyes usually drift upward and their jaws drop when the see the ceiling. This is a shot of just the center section of the ceiling, encompassing maybe half the area of the entire ceiling.

I took this shot lying on the floor, in the center of the hall (to get as much distance as possible), using a 28mm lens (which is roughly a 50mm lens with the 1.6 multiplier on the chip in my Canon 10D), but that's the most I could capture.

The ceiling isn't painted -- it's printed. The design on the celing was taken from a drawing made by the architect, John Outram, on an A! size sheet of paper. The A1 size is 594mm × 841mm, or in the American system, roughly 23 3/8in × 33in. That drawing was then scanned and sections were increased in size and printed onto 232 vinyl sheets that are 2 ft x 8 ft. each. Then each section was mounted on an acoustic tile and attached to the ceiling. If one of the tiles is damaged or fades, they can just print another one. See the workshop for a crop of just one of the ceiling tiles.

Here's a page that tells a little more about the details of the ceiling, and shows the whole thing.

I rotated the image a little, adjusted the levels, and sharpened and resized it before uploading.

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Additional Photos by Michael Sirois (msirois) Silver Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 30 W: 1 N: 51] (275)
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