Ann Hamilton’s eight-story cylindrical tower, composed of over one million pounds of concrete is 86 feet high and approximately 30 feet in diameter. The Tower goes almost as far in the earth as it does into the air, with concrete piers driven deep into the ground and a large, thick concrete pad for the tower to rest upon. The Tower is open to the sky at the top, with a water cistern at the base. There are two separate concrete staircases within the tower, each shrinking in width with a custom stainless steel railing. Intended to be a private musical experimentation and performance space, the Tower’s two staircases form a double helix, with one staircase for the audience and the other for the performers.
The tower designed by Ann Hamilton for the Oliver Ranch, Geyserville, CA was the realization of Hamilton’s desire to go beyond the ephermal nature of much of her oeuvre and create a work of performance of her own design, a solid but living conduit for an ever changing range of sensory projects and performances. The tower is Hamilton’s first permanent installation anywhere in the world. It took 3-1/2 years to complete, after 14 years of discussion and design, and new works of poetry, dance and music are commissioned annually for performance in the space. In 2008, the tower received the Merit Award from the California chapter of the American institute of Architects.