An interactive walk-in art installation mixing engineering and design will take visitors on a sensory experience of light, c olor, and sound when Architects of Air brings its luminarium, “Arboria,” to the Virginia Tech campus.

Presented by the Moss Arts Center, the monumental inflatable sculpture will be open to the public on Wednesday, Aug. 17, through Sunday, Aug. 21, from 1-7 p.m. each day on the Virginia Tech Drillfield. Admission is free.

The event is part of Hokie Hi at Virginia Tech, a series of events and traditions to welcome students to campus.

Designed by Alan Parkinson, the luminarium features a maze of winding paths and soaring domes, where Islamic architecture, Archimedean solids, and Gothic cathedrals highlight the beauty of light and color. This unique sensory experience brings visual art to unexpected places.

Built in 2015, “Arboria” is dedicated to the theme of trees. Combinations of cones and spheres give rise to a brightly luminous tree trunk and branches that reach overhead. Each of the sculpture’s three domes are approximately 26 feet high, feature individually stylized leaf motifs, and are dominated by a single color — red, green, or blue. 

These three tree-like structures triangulate the magnificent main dome. More than 32 feet high, the central dome takes its inspiration from the Chapter House of the Cathedral and Metropolitical Church of Saint Peter in York, England, and its original tall Gothic windows, arching columns, and rib vaulting.

The sound experience for “Arboria” was recorded in a cloud forest reserve in Ecuador by musician and soundscape ecologist Alice Eldridge, who has added her own piano composition to accompany the forest and wildlife sounds.

All children under the age of 16 must be accompanied by an adult (maximum four children per adult). This event is wheelchair accessible. For more information about Architects of Air, visit

Free parking is available after 5 p.m. in the Perry Street Lots and the Perry Street Parking Garage near Prices Fork Road. Parking on the Drillfield will be restricted for student move-in traffic. Find more parking information online or call 540-231-3200.

If you are an individual with a disability and desire an accommodation, please contact Kacy McAllister at 540-231-5300 or email during regular business hours at least 10 business days prior to the event.

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