Beauty and Truth

Unlike my previous trips out here, this time in Vancouver is a learning experience. I’m spending two weeks at Regent College on the UBC campus to learn the language of faith and film. The art and architecture of Regent set the inspiring milieu for exploring beauty and truth. Here are a few vignettes:

The True North Wind Tower and Lux Nova Art Glass:

Installed in 2007, the tower stands as a symbol of integration. Its highest point is designed to be in line with the North Star, the beacon of direction through the ages. The structure brings together the seemingly polarized ends of science and art, and accentuates faith in all aspects of life. CLICK HERE to read more about this 40 foot tall distinguished landmark.

Architect Clive Grout designed the self-sustaining, energy efficient True North Wind Tower as a natural ventilation system for the library built underneath it. Artist Sarah Hall incorporated solar cells into a cascade of glass work. They store energy during the day to illuminate a colored, celestial waterfall at night. This is the first installation of solar energy and art glass fusion in North America.

Embellishing this graceful design are twelve dichroic glass crosses, weaving through an inscription of the Lord’s Prayer in Aramaic, the spoken language in Jesus’ time. What a magnificent alchemy of art, architecture, faith and science. Just two weeks ago, on April 29th, this beautiful architecture won the prestigious Design Merit Award for Sacred Landscapes from the American Institute of Architects (AIA) in San Francisco. CLICK HERE to read more about this Award.

Regent Wind Tower

A closer look at the art glass:

Lux Nova Art Glass Close Up 2

For the magnificent night view, CLICK HERE to go to Regent’s site.

As for the theology library built underneath the tower, it’s another beauty:

Regent Library


A stone-throw away from the Wind Tower is this serene setting:

Garden Bench

Even the wisteria speak to the intertwining togetherness of Beauty and Truth:

Intertwining Westeria Stems 4

Intertwining Westeria Stems 2


Original Photos and Text by Arti of Ripple Effects. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED, May, 2009. If you see them on a site that is not Ripple Effects, then they are copied without permission. CLICK HERE to go to the original post

Published by


If she’s not birding by the Pond, Arti’s likely watching a movie, reading, or writing a review. Creator of Ripple Effects, bylines in Asian American Press, Vague Visages, Curator Magazine.

10 thoughts on “Beauty and Truth”

  1. ‘Beauty is truth, truth beauty’–that is all
    Ye know on earth, and all ye need to know.
    –Keats, “Ode on a Grecian Urn”

    Not that you didn’t know this already, just that it was the first thing that came to mind on reading this. That it’s a “pagan” urn when you are studying modern faith is an unintentional irony. Thank you for this, Arti, the architecture and the photos are stunning.”Solar energy and art glass fusion.” Would there were more of that. Fascinating stuff. And of course I loved your take on the wisteria.
    signed, One with a firm grasp of the Obvious


    1. Dear One with a firm grasp of the Obvious,

      The Chinese has a saying which can loosely be translated as: “Pitching a brick to attract a rebound of jade”. The post is only half the fun, the rest is in the comments. After all, this is Ripple Effects. And hey ds, you’re speaking out for all of us… love your humor. Thanks for the rebound!


  2. I think of Vancouver as an enlightened place. I suppose it isn’t – any more than any other place – but it calls me out there. The light tower – which it seems to be as well as wind tower – is remarkable.

    How smart of you to take your Girl with a Pearl Earring book and film before seeing the Vermeer exhibit.

    I would tell you to enjoy your time there, but I don’t think I need to.


    1. Ruth,

      Who would think of a post on organic produce would bring out the movie Girl With A Pearl Earring? But I’m glad you did and that has added more fuel to my enthusiasm about Vermeer! I went to the show and was very impressed. Will definitely write a post on it soon. Unfortunately it wasn’t a Vermeer exhibition per se, but I enjoyed it just the same. As soon as I got my thoughts all organized… Thanks for your comment.


  3. Oh, Arti, these pictures are wonderful! and that library – wow, if I didn’t have to head to the office this morning, I’d find myself a library.
    Enjoy, enjoy, enjoy your trip! And thanks for sharing!


  4. The tower is beautiful, albeit with a possibly unintended irony – with time, it no longer will be aligned with true north. Because of the precession of the earth’s axis, true north rotates in an arc every 25,000 years or so – if I recall, a few thousand years ago Thuban was the north star, and Polaris will be more closely aligned as our true north star in a century or so.

    But that’s nit-picking. Most of us live our lives using uncorrected compasses – having a reminder that true north exists and we need to adjust those compasses is all to the good.

    I’m really taken by the combination of glass and solar energy, too. Glass and light belong together, whether it’s a Chihuly installation or a green glass beer bottled tucked into a cabin window. The thought that light can be responsible for keeping glass glowing through the night is like magic – it makes me happy.


    1. Thanks for the tidbit about the North Star. As someone living along the Texas coast and working with boats and navigation, you’re the expert here. I know, 25,000 years seem like a long time, but it serves to tell us it’s not the absolute. As for the solar energy bit, maybe because of the overcast sky in Vancouver, I have yet to see the whole cascade of celestial waterfall illuminate as the picture in the Regent website shows, but I did have a glimpse of some colors at night. It’s certainly a masterpiece, integrating art and science, beauty and technology.


  5. Beautiful tower. 🙂 My DH was at Regent last week, too, and at VST before that. Who knows, maybe your paths crossed….

    We lived on campus at VST for three years (way back when…), but I haven’t been back in years. I do remember there being some really beautiful places around there, though!

    I just might have talked to her there! I was in the course entitled Reading Film.
    The area around VST is so beautiful. Maybe it’s time for a re-visit.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s