Ambient sounds and multi-colored lights combine to create the unusual-looking labyrinthian structure currently sitting on the lawn of Washington Park. It’s called Dodecalis, and is the only ticketed experience for Blink, the four-night light and art festival spanning 30 blocks through downtown Cincinnati and Covington.
Dodecalis is essentially an inflatable luminarium made of a special blend of PVC that is thinner than a t-shirt. Its creators, Architects of Air, specialize in building luminariums like this one. Every panel used is cut and glued by hand in the group’s Nottingham, England workshop and then pieced together to create the gargantuan art installations.
From the outside, Dodecalis looks like a castle that you’d see at a country fair for children—but as guests remove their shoes at the door, step inside the airlock, and wander through the maze within, they’ll see several breathtaking structures that are inspired by Islamic and Gothic architecture illuminated by a kaleidoscope of different lights. The atmospheric tones that play throughout combine with lights to immerse guests in an ethereal experience that can’t be found anywhere else.
The maze of tunnels contained in Dodecalis are unique in that the reflective light makes the tunnels change color depending on the angle each is seen at. Guests can walk through a red tunnel, turn around, and see the tunnel they’ve just walked through in a completely different light.
Mali Gondesen, luminarium manager, said the outside appearance of Dodecalis is intentionally deceiving, and that the inner network of domes and tunnels is meant for guests to spend time with. “It’s meant to be a place for contemplation and to explore and be inspired by,” Gondesen said. “We have all these little pods that people can sit in with their family or their friends. Some people come in to meditate, and some people come in to read, even. The more you engage with the space, the better it is.”
The only down side? Blink visitors planning to experience Dodecalis should expect to wait for several hours, as the “Katena” luminarium featured in 2017’s Blink had lines that stretched for entire blocks. “We’re expecting long lines,” Gondesen said. “So visitors should come with water, some hats, and fun friends. But it’s totally worth it.”
Dodecalis will be on display at the Washington Park Civic Lawn from 7-11 p.m. Thursday through Sunday. Tickets are $10 for adults, $5 for kids under ten, and free for children two and under.
Click through our gallery below for more images of the Dodecalis: