Steven Holl collaborated with composer Raphael Mostel to create “Four Birds,” on view in a garden-wide exhibition of birdhouses opening this Saturday at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden.
The design is inspired by the first composition of French composer Olivier Messiaen, “Le Merle Noir” (Blackbird). This piece of music was constructed from birdsong, a major part of Messiaen’s thinking, using only four permutations. Made of maple hardwood and fabricated by Michael Haddy, Director of Fabrications, “Four Birds” has four circular entrances within a larger cylinder. “Birdsong represented for Messiaen the ecstatic presence of the divine in the world,” Mostel explains.
“Four Birds” is located at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden Washington Avenue entrance. “For the Birds” exhibition is on view June 11 through October 23, 2022.