Deanna Marsh Studio

Confluence of Place

Multi-surface ceramic-printed glass integrated into glass curtain wall, 40’x147’x3”
2024 (install 2027)
West facade. Image by SmithGroup.

This monolithic facade sculpture for the new University of California, Davis Medical Center, California Tower features the Sacramento Valley’s abundant ecosystem diversity from river to city to sky, highlighting plants and creatures that grow in the Sacramento Region and echoing their color palettes and patterns. When viewed from the interior, each of the ten floors features a story of a symbiotic plant and animal relationship printed in white, offset from the colorful environmental backdrop. 

Viewer experience of the interior fifth floor.
A two-panel full scale prototype viewed from outside. Photograph courtesy of
A two-panel prototype viewed from inside. Photograph courtesy of
A heron glides through a Sacramento wetland, lush with cattails and small fish hiding amidst the pygmy weed. This image is a simulated daytime view of the interior art.
At night, the color fades back and the white intensifies to reveal more detail. This image is a simulated nighttime view of the interior art.
A Ceanothus silkmoth approaches a Coffee berry stem in a Sacramento oak woodland. This image simulates the daytime view from the interior.
At night, the white artwork intensifes to reveal more detail.
All of the illustrations are hand drawn. This kingfisher is six feet tall, so up close you can see every feather follicle and every vein in the oak leaf.
About the building

The California Tower is an expression of UC Davis Health’s core values to advance equity, promote inclusion, and honor Sacramento’s diverse communities and cultures. The Architecture and Integrated Art design—led by SmithGroup Architects—promotes these core values through an exterior and interior designed to welcome and uplift.

At the bend of the tower, referred to as the “Hinge,” the facade integrates Art in Architecture to further celebrate the idea of Diversity. Through J.D. Thompson & Assoc. Art Consultancy, UCDH commissioned California artist Deanna Marsh and team, local to the Sacramento area, who have drawn inspiration from the region to colorfully express the confluence of peoples and places. The glass art rises ten stories, creating a cohesive visual theme celebrating human and natural diversity of the region, from a planning process including collaboration with local communities.

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