221 Walnut Street
Des Moines, IA 50309
Hours: 9:30 AM – 6 PM
Admission: $5 day-of standby admission, $15 advance reserved time
Learn how you can help guests experience this special event
ALBESILA (the new luminarium) represents a complete departure from how we had approached the design of previous luminaria. Previously luminaria aimed to encourage the visitors to lose themselves by creating winding paths and short sightlines whereas for Albesila we used a rectilinear grid ground plan to give long sightlines and clear left/ right parameters. We soon found that too unexciting and have completely revised the layout to restore the mystery and sense of discovery.
And the paths are different too, they’re no longer the curving tunnels but airy, interconnected, 5 meter high ovoid domes. 27 such domes make Albesila feel more voluminous despite occupying a similar ground area to its predecessors.
Of the 27 egg-shaped domes 4 eggs provide the base to the most imposing tree form and 10 eggs are opaque silver where, looking upward, one discovers radiant geometric traceries inspired by Islamic art.
The remaining 13 eggs provide a complete immersion in color. This sensory intensity reaches a peak in the magnificent Main Dome where an intricate weave of illuminated seams creates a constellation of stars spiraling upward to the heavens.