Henry Madden Library at California State University at Fresno

This quadripartite art program, executed by Narduli Studio, is situated in the 370,000 square-foot Henry Madden Library designed by David Martin of AC Martin Partners. As students enter California State University, Fresno’s new library, they are greeted by a 43-foot living mural, possibly the world’s longest running art film with an approximate nine-month runtime. The three-story digital LED mesh curtain depicts a striking woman in a red dress engaged in the year-long process of weaving a traditional Mono Basket. Narduli envisioned the project not only as an homage to the native Mono-Chukchansi tribe that once resided in the area, but also as a timekeeper for the campus – the slow rhythm of crafting the basket marking the passage of time. Inside the library, two large expanses of LCD screens located on the sides of the elevator core simultaneously capture close-up views of the image.

Basketry and the region’s traditional culture imbue Narduli Studio’s other projects within the library: the exterior garden is planted with trees and grasses used in the basket-making process; the long, ribbon-like form of the library’s grand stairway is blanketed in woven stainless steel mesh reminiscent of the intricate weaving of a basket. Narduli Studio also designed an evocative mural for the library’s third-floor Browsing Room. Composed of overlapping glass panels suspended on cables, the mural portrays the sweeping vistas of the Table Mountain landscape layered under mesmerizing photos of its native inhabitants. Stratifying translucent imagery and text, the mural both captures and comments on the elusive nature of memory.

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