Pier 92, San Francisco, California, USA, 2014
Bayview Rise is an illuminated mural on the grain elevator and silos of Port Pier 92, at the north entry to San Francisco’s Bayview Neighborhood. The large scale of the 187’ façade makes the artwork visible from surrounding hillsides and freeways, creating a landmark for the Bayview. Its geometric pattern weaves together symbols of the neighborhood’s changing economy, ecology, and community as well as its past, present, and future, symbolizing a community in transformation.
The art is a dynamic visual metaphor for this transformation through its interaction of color and light. At night different light colors cause parts of the mural of that same color to be highlighted while other colors recede into the dark background. As the light colors shift, images appear to float in and out of the scene. This striking effect of "illumination animation" results in the appearance of an animated graphic abstractly representing a neighborhood in transformation, or Bayview Rising.
Growing out of a horizon line is a pattern inspired by native islais cherry plants overlaid onto a field of shorebirds rising from the water. Soaring above is a heron, alluding to nearby Heron’s Head Park, a nearby environmental restoration project by the Port. The cow references historic Butchertown, once sited at this location. The mural’s red balloons are inspired by words of 96-year old community activist Essie Webb, who likened the neighborhood to a balloon waiting to inflate and rise. The images within the mural have been combined, overlapped, and juxtaposed in a triangular matrix so there appear to be metamorphoses between cherries and balloons, water and birds, land and leaves. This shift is emphasized with the changing colors of lights.
Bayview Rise was funded and commissioned by the Port of San Francisco with coordination from the San Francisco Arts Commission. Painting installation was by R.B. Morris III. Lighting installation was by Legend Theatrical.
Video: Bruce Damonte, Director; Lloyd B. Ranola, Drone Operator
Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, Washington, USA, 2011
Emerald City is a landmark artwork along the roadway and light rail line entering Sea-Tac Airport. The piece portrays a towering “ecotopia” composed of illuminated and planted terraces and spires that create a portal. Three stainless steel scaffolding-like towers are planted with flowering vines that are slowly grow up the structures. The structures are up-lit with green LEDs to further convey the greening of the city in a metaphoric way. Leading up to the portal are undulating earthworks retained by linear gabion walls and planted with seasonally dynamic groundcovers that allude to the landscapes and waterscapes of Washington State. A clock tower in the median is composed of protruding and receding stainless steel fins. Green crystalline photovoltaic panels integrated into fins on the south side of the tower tie the idea of renewable energy production to the “greening” of the city. The photovoltaic system powers LED light fixtures inside the clock tower that change color with the air temperature, ranging from blue (cold) to green (moderate) to gold (hot).
Emerald City was commissioned by the Port of Seattle.
Denver Museum of Nature and Science, Denver, Colorado, USA, 2014
Art for the south arrival plaza at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science’s new educational wing draws on museum exhibits about light, optics, and minerals, combining them with the dynamic Colorado sunlight to create an embodied aesthetic experience. The main feature, “Iridescent Cloud,” is a suspended sculpture built from hundreds of tetrahedral clear acrylic prisms woven into a web of mirrored stainless steel rod loosely derived from the molecular structure of hexagonal quartz crystals. As sunlight shines on the prisms they sparkle with iridescent colors that move across the sculpture as one walks around it. Leading up to the plaza is a 270’-long glass lithocrete paving arc that transitions through all the colors of the visible light spectrum and terminates in a pyrite specimen set in a blackened bronze “pot of gold,” a treasure for children to discover at the end of the rainbow.
Iridescent Cloud was commissioned by the City and County of Denver’s Public Art Program. Demiurge Design fabricated and installed the cloud sculpture and columns. Silo Workshop meticulously carved a mold to custom fit the pyrite, cast it in bronze, and installed the piece in the plaza.
Denver Animal Shelter, Denver, Colorado, USA, 2011
Sun Spot is a tri-piece artwork for the Denver Animal Shelter. The three pieces are linked by the common use of pet tags. The primary artwork is a 20’-tall iconic dog sculpture visible from Interstate-25. The sculpture is made from a steel skeleton covered with 90,000 stainless steel pet tags. The movement of the tags in the breeze coupled with sunlight and colored LEDs at night make the surface of the sculpture a constantly scintillating surface of light and sound when viewed up close.
The second piece is a suspended 6’-diameter collar sculpture in the lobby of the Shelter and sized to fit the dog sculpture. Patterns cut and etched into the collar are derived from the native shrubs planted around the dog. Chains hanging from the collar are slowly accumulating with custom engraved pet tags commemorating both old and newly adopted pets, becoming a communal gesture of animal stewardship.
The final art element is a set of etched tags identifying native plants along the South Platte River Greenway that runs past the Animal Shelter. Using pet tags to “name” the plants ties environmental stewardship to animal stewardship.
Sun Spot was commissioned by the City and County of Denver’s Public Art Program. The dog sculpture was fabricated and installed by Demiurge Design and the collar was fabricated and installed by Silo Workshop.
SeaTac, Washington, USA, 2016.
Cloud is a suspended sculpture at Sound Transit’s Angle Lake light rail station, a mile and a half south of Sea-Tac Airport. The kinetic, illuminated Cloud hovers over the elevated station platform that straddles S. 200th Street. The sculpture is 48-feet-long and 26-feet-high and composed of over 6000 acrylic discs in shades of white, violet, yellow, orange, pink, and silver. The discs hang from stainless steel cables strung horizontally between large curved structural columns that act as conceptual arms holding the Cloud. From a distance the five-inch diameter discs coalesce into a 3D cumulus cloud shape. When viewed up close the gently fluttering discs create an immersive environment of light and motion.
Wind moves and spins the discs individually as sunlight causes them to shimmer and glow, making the Cloud serve as a sculptural barometer of local weather. At night colored LED floodlights illuminate the Cloud in sunset hues that slowly fade to blue as a train approaches the station. The art heightens people’s perception of their surroundings and creates a memorable landmark that is visible from east and west approaches along S. 200th Street and from airplanes landing and taking off at SeaTac International Airport.
Cloud was commissioned by Sound Transit and built by Fabrication Specialties Ltd.
West Riverfront Park, Nashville, Tennessee, USA, 2015.
Light Meander, a sculpture in Nashville’s new West Riverfront Park, forms a nexus between the Cumberland River and downtown Nashville. The curvilinear form of the sculpture is based on the meanders of the Cumberland River as it passes through Davidson County.
More than representing the river, the art mimics its dynamic phenomena through a variety of effects of natural and artificial light. The river-facing side is finished with reflective stainless steel plate eliciting distorted mirrored experiences. On the top of the city-facing side of the sculpture, beginning at the point on the sculpture where Nashville occurs along the Cumberland River, color-changing LED strip lights illuminate horizontally inset acrylic rods, creating a textured ribbon of electric light at night. The LED colors are inspired by changing colors of the river through different seasons. They are programmed for effects that are specific to annual events such as historic flood anniversaries and holidays. Below the acrylic tubes are mirror finish stainless steel tubes of the same dimension as the acrylic tubes. At the lowest bend of the sculpture wood slats in the same dimension form an immersive sculptural bench. The very top of the sculpture, facing the river, and the underside of the bench are textiles of reflective stainless steel guitar picks, creating wind-activated sounds and shimmers of light that are inviting to the touch.
The art was commissioned by the Metro Nashville Arts Commission and fabricated and installed by Silo Workshop. Guitar picks were custom fabricated by Dunlop Manufacturing.
Rocky Ridge Recreation Facility, Calgary, Alberta, Canada.
Artwork for Calgary’s Rocky Ridge Recreation Facility will be responsive to the natural environment, creating memorable iconic experiences that reflect the identity of the community, landscape, and facility. The art includes two pieces that each tie to a significant natural feature of the site: the wetland and the knoll.
Art for the knoll is composed of two monumental sculptures conceived from inspirations of the changing shapes of flocks of birds ascending and descending, herds, the movement of Chinook clouds, horns, and torsos of bison and elk, the matrices of animal nests and dens, and mythical creatures. Located along a trail high on the knoll, the art can be perceived from many vantages, creating different images and experiences. The positioning of the sculptures in relation to each other will create compositional changes as the two forms combine into a whole and separate as one moves around or between them. When seen from a distance the art will act as a beacon while close-up views will be a sensory experience of texture, light, and movement.
The second piece will be located at a gathering spot with picnic tables, benches, and an aspen grove overlooking the wetland. The art will create a sculptural space composed of two rows of vertical posts topped with wind and sunlight activated wind vanes. The V-shape the posts create is derived from the shapes of flocks of wetland birds ascending and descending and angles of the sun. The vanes are positioned on poles so that they point to the position of the sun in the sky at noon on the Winter Solstice. When experienced from positions within the sculpture, the art will create an embodied sensory experience of light, texture, and motion. When seen from a distance, the art will compliment the wetland as a bird-like flock rising into the sky.
This artwork is commissioned by the City of Calgary Public Art Program. Installation is expected to occur in 2017.
Seattle, Washington, USA, 2011
Cloud Chamber is an unexpected, eccentric light pole in the streetscape of Seattle’s Northgate neighborhood. Cantilevering from a 30’-tall column, the sculpture acts as a beacon and gateway into Hubbard Homestead Park. Stainless steel tubes are curved to form a cloud shape. Rain is represented by straight tubes radiating out from the sculpture’s central spine, each terminating with a blue acrylic cylinder that is illuminated at night. Cloud Chamber is a play on an early 20th-century scientific device in which a sealed environment containing a supersaturated vapor of water reveals tracks of ions in spiraling forms.
Cloud Chamber was funded by the Seattle Department of Transportation. Metalwork was by Atomic Fabrications and custom LED fixtures were made by Winona.
Myrtle Edwards Park, Seattle, Washington, USA, 2004/2010
Undercurrents is an artwork at the outfall site of King County's Denny Way/Lake Union CSO Project, which reduces untreated combined sewer overflows into Elliott Bay and Lake Union through a series of pipes running under the city. The work consists of an artist-designed plaza, landscape, and integrated sculpture and graphic imagery that together reveal invisible site functions.
A large mechanical vault at the entry to the site is wrapped on three sides with a planted berm, conceptually conveying stormwater utility as green infrastructure. The fourth side is clad with stainless steel wall panels etched with a metaphoric pictogram depicting stormwater collection, transport, and treatment. A hidden door in the wall allows access into the vault. Five reflective vent pipes extend out of the vault, mirroring the environment.
A swale running down the center of the plaza, directly over two large outfall pipes is etched with words and lines describing natural flows of water. The swale channels stormwater, mimicking actions of the underground pipes during storm events. Wave-activated sound pipes are built into the riprap around the plaza. Letters spelling “h’loo-loo-loo-loo-loo," a sound from a Native American myth about water, are embedded in the concrete paving in front of the soundpipes. Gates and fences for the pump building beside the plaza are fabricated from pipe bent and welded to resemble shoreline reeds and eddies.
Undercurrents was commissioned by 4Culture. The metalwork was built by Fabrication Specialties with etching by Western Metal Arts.
Indian Bend Wash, Scottsdale, Arizona, USA, 2010
Water Mark is a comprehensive artwork for a 5-acre site in Scottsdale’s Indian Bend Wash. A concrete drop structure facilitates the flow of floodwater from a golf course under a new roadway bridge and into a basin that controls the water’s progression into a natural mesquite grove and greenbelt that ultimately reaches the Salt River.
The art gives distinct forms to the engineering elements, bringing them alive during dramatic flood events. The drop structure is crowned with five 14’- high faceted aluminum horse gargoyles that recall the site’s historic Arabian horse ranch. During floods water flows around and through them.
Earthwork art characterizes the basin on the opposite side of the bridge. Concrete walls mark changing water heights with red tile lines and square notches and protrusions at one-foot increments. The architectural stadia walls transition into more naturalistic mortared stone berms that house and armor plants, protecting them from rushing floodwater. Their highest and widest points, at the ends, appear as islands during extra high floods.
The bridge facades pick up on the aesthetic of the stadia walls and gargoyle plinths. Dark charcoal concrete is patterned with red tile patterns inspired by historic stadia markers used for surveying and measuring.
Haddad|Drugan collaborated closely with the city’s design/build team, including URS (engineers), J2 (landscape architects), Hunter Contracting (contractors), and representatives from the city and Scottsdale Public Art, to create Water Mark. CWDC Inc. built the horse gargoyle sculptures based on maquettes by Haddad|Drugan.
Water Mark received a Valley Forward Association Environmental Excellence Merit Award.
Edmonton Valley Zoo, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, 2014
With forms inspired by animals living in the Edmonton Valley Zoo and like an island grove of trees, the twelve vertical torqueing sculptures of Grove of Light punctuate the horizontal landscape and create a landmark visible from multiple vantages both inside and outside the zoo. The stainless steel stalks are 8” wide and vary in height between 18-22’. They taper and bend as they rise, creating multiple facets oriented differently to the sky and ground. A variety of finishes produce different levels of luminance to catch, absorb, refract, and reflect light and the surrounding environment. Wind can move the thin tops of the stalks to create shimmering light effects. Spaced for an immersive and interactive close-up experience, they can also be moved by hand, transferring a person’s energy into the artwork. The sculpture connects people to the unique sense of place and natural environment in real time by revealing and responding to the dynamic changes of the northerly Edmonton environment.
Grove of Light was commissioned by the Edmonton Arts Council and fabricated by Heavy.
Wickford Junction Train Station, North Kingstown, Rhode Island, USA, 2014
Historic train-signaling devices called semaphores inspire contemporary art for a rail station that has been in service since 1870. The artwork includes two complimentary elements, a mosaic mural set within a niche on the station façade and a freestanding sculpture that marks the station entry. The sculpture physically aligns with the mosaic and is visually linked to it through the use of similar forms and colors.
The entry sculpture translates the elements of a semaphore to a grand scale. Three colored glass roundels are set within a cast iron spectacle sitting atop a red stainless steel blade. Hardware connecting the roundels to the spectacle allows them to pivot with the wind. Sunlight makes them glow during the day while at night white light illuminates the blade and makes the colored roundels glow.
The glass mosaic is an abstract composition of blade and roundel elements. At night visual motion is caused by LEDs at the base of the mosaic changing colors, causing the semaphore signals appear to be animated. When the lights are red the red blades and lenses glow and the blue and green recede into the background, and so on with the other colors – each field of color coming forward in succession.
Semaphore was commissioned by the Rhode Island Council on the Arts. The mosaic mural and roundel lenses were fabricated by Franz Mayer of Munich. Silo Workshop fabricated the entry sculpture and installed both pieces at Wickford Junction.
Acreage Library, Palm Beach County, Florida, USA, 2012
Integrated art for the lobby of the Acreage Library is a metaphor for both historic and modern ways that the sun produces energy. Historically, photosynthesis was essential to the Acreage’s agricultural endeavors, symbolized in the art with a suspended orange tree sculpture rendered in forms and materials that interact with light. Fruit is represented with orange and green blown glass globes that are each illuminated with an internal LED bulb. Branches are fabricated from polished stainless steel tubes. Diamond-shaped leaves are cut from iridescent and mirrored silver and green acrylic. The bending of light as it hits the reflective surfaces of the leaves and branches causes a kaleidoscopic optical effect.
Today’s productivity with sunlight is represented with a photovoltaic module on the roof of the Library that powers the light sculpture, thereby overlaying modern and historic forms of energy production. An interactive panel on a wall below the sculpture illustrates the kilowatt hours being produced by the solar panels and consumed by the orange tree sculpture. Viewers can press a button on the panel to turn on LEDs that first make the green oranges appear to ripen, and eventually illuminate all the glass globes. An interpretive booklet by the artists describes the project and how it contributed a LEED credit to the new building for Innovation in Design. It is housed in the reference section of the Library. Windows flanking the sculpture are painted with a barcode pattern that references the ISBN of the booklet, with an orange background inspired by citrus skin.
Productive Light was commissioned by Palm Beach County Art in Public Places and fabricated by CWDC Inc.
Portland, Maine, USA, 2004
Jewel Box, a bus shelter for Portland’s Monument Square, is composed of a series of faceted surfaces abstracted from features of Maine’s marine environment. The roof form is derived from a lobster tail, cast iron perimeter panels from barnacles, and angled holographic and blue glass windows from waves. The shelter is visually connected to a traditional Civil War monument, pointing to the city's past while its soaring abstracted form acts as an icon of Portland's vibrant present and future.
Jewel Box was commissioned by the Portland Public Art Program and fabricated by CWDC Inc.
Fire Station 35, San Jose, California, USA, 2007
Lineage is made up of components that form a line connecting a new fire station to an existing community center. The primary piece is a strata wall with embedded artifacts that reference the fire department on one side and community on the other. The mass of the wall is counter-balanced with an open grove of mirrored and painted stainless steel rods recalling the tall tule reeds once growing throughout the region. Suspended near the top of the rods, a luminescent gold anodized pipe channels irrigation water to the runnel in the top of the Strata Wall, from which it cascades onto a splash stone and into the landscape. Three sculptural beacons extend from the tule reed rods to the community center are inspired by the carved log ladders used in early area mines and called escaleras.
Lineage was commissioned by the San Jose Arts Commission.
Richmond Beach Saltwater Park, Shoreline, Washington, USA, 2009
Reflex Solaris is an environmental artwork that uses the sun’s alignment and reflection to create an aesthetic experience tied to the park’s unique concave landform, dramatic westerly views, and cyclical time. Radiating out from a focal point sundial terrace are five stainless steel reflectors built into the land’s upper slopes. Each mirrored reflector has three facets positioned to capture and play with the visual dynamics and spatial relationships of the site. Each reflector aligns with a significant astronomical locus: winter solstice sunset, summer solstice sunset, equinox sunset, true north, and magnetic north. On the solstices and equinoxes the setting sun hits an aligned reflector and shoots sunlight back to the central sundial to create a nexus of place, space, and time.
Reflex Solaris was commissioned by the Shoreline Public Art Program. Metalwork was by Atomic Fabrications.
Kent, Washington, USA, 2001
Millennium Plaza, located in front of Kent Commons Community Center, was commissioned to mark the Millennium. The design plays with the concept of time in that it draws on ancient and timeless icons but translates them to contemporary forms. A prominent stainless steel pyramid is a symbol of the community’s accumulated history and knowledge and houses a time capsule filled by citizens that will not be opened until 2112. Smaller cast iron pyramids punctuate the paving, with one housing a second time capsule on a shorter schedule. A sundial acts as a time-keeping device. A boxwood parterre garden is juxtaposed with a native plant garden surrounding the plaza that acts as a natural time capsule.
Millennium Plaza was commissioned by the Kent Arts Commission.
Seattle, Washington, USA, 2004
Oxbow Park is the result of a grassroots effort by Seattle’s Georgetown community to turn a vacant one-acre lot into a park and save the landmark historical "Hat ‘n’ Boots" structures, built in 1954 as part of a western-themed gas station just a couple blocks away from the park site. Laura Haddad worked with the community to establish a conceptual design with an "industrial cowboy" theme. Following that she worked with Jones & Jones Landscape Architects to develop the design. Oxbow Park won a WASLA Honor Award for its "defiant civic space" and "strong concept."
In conjunction with park construction Haddad|Drugan won a grant from 4Culture to lead a team of community volunteers in covering the structure of Seattle’s largest and most beloved cowboy hat with a veil of live carnations, laurel, and sunflowers. The installation was carried out in conjunction with the Georgetown Art & Garden Walk and created the backdrop for a musical performance and community party. The fantastic novelty of the flowerdraped hat brought media awareness to efforts to restore this historic landmark, which occurred in 2009.
Anaheim, California, USA, 2010
Colony Park is a public park built as part of a private housing development. Its central “watercourt” is inspired by the original agricultural plat of Anaheim. Paving colors depict irrigated fields (green), non-irrigated land (sand), water canals (blue), and streets (gray). In the center of the court, sixty-four concrete blocks represent the houses and public buildings of the town center. Water runs through the court in various playful ways, including through etched stainless steel “water canals” embedded in the paving. One of these channels feeds a wading pool and one releases a thin sheet of water across a section of paving. Grass and orange tree plantings in and around the watercourt compliment the agricultural motif. Two cedar picnic shelters are inspired by farm structures and historic displays from Anaheim’s Valencia Orange Shows. Orange acrylic spheres are “strung” on overhead stainless steel rods, creating a color and shadow play on the cedar plank table below.
Colony Park was commissioned by the City of Anaheim with construction coordination by Brookfield Homes. The metal runnels were fabricated by Atomic Fabrications and glass lithocrete paving installed by Shaw & Sons.
Fremont Peak Park, Seattle, Washington, USA, 2007
Fremont Peak Park captures the spirit of Seattle’s Fremont neighborhood, the self-proclaimed “center of the universe,” integrating the myth of the minotaur with cosmological events to create a unique destination where art and landscape work together to seamlessly convey metaphoric meaning through functional, natural, and sculptural means. Concrete “labyrinth walls” frame a series of garden rooms, including a phases-of-the-moon entry terrace, meadow, and solstice view terrace. A “silver thread” metal ribbon starts as a spool at the entry, winds alongside the main path, and terminates at the view terrace as a “Y” with legs pointing to the sunsets at the solstices. Round boulders and pipes embedded in the wall are in the forms of constellations related to the myth.
This project, a design team collaboration with GGLO, included numerous public meetings and workshops with park neighbors. It has won awards from the Seattle Design Commission and Americans for the Arts. The metal work was fabricated by CWDC Inc.
Shilshole Bay Marina, Seattle, Washington, USA, 2007
Groundswell expresses cultural and natural aspects of its setting, a plaza at Seattle’s Shilshole Bay Marina. Fabricated stainless steel ribs evoke boat hulls and whale skeletons, while carved basalt columns call forth waves. Water runs down etched runnels in the front faces of the ribs, adding a dimension of sound and a play of reflected sunlight that animate the piece. Forms of the fountain carry forth into planting beds in the surrounding marina plaza.
Groundswell was commissioned by the Port of Seattle and designed in coordination with plaza design by Mithun. The stainless steel ribs were built by Fabrication Specialties and basalt carved by Seattle Solstice.
Seattle, Washington, USA, 2003
A rooftop paving artwork was commissioned for the Seattle Waterfront Marriott Hotel, composed of over forty-five thousand 12” x 12” custom-fabricated concrete unit pavers that also serve as roof ballast. The upper roofs abstract qualities of water into a high-contrast pattern that can be perceived from distances. Bands of rippling waves on the eastern portions of the roof represent the shoreline. These break into a pixel pattern at the western edge that mimics shimmering light on the water at the horizon. The two lower courtyard roofs, visible from guest rooms, depict knot gardens. One roof depicts a maze and the other an interlocking pattern of water and plants. Embedded recycled glass cullet adds texture and reflects sunlight.
Southern Community Park, Chapel Hill, North Carolina, USA, 2009
Elemental Landscape marks an 80-acre regional park with a series of art installations connected by their use of circular forms and salvaged site materials. Each piece is activated by a specific natural element. Carved stone markers at each piece name the element and link the installation to a contextual place expressing the same element.
The installations include Water, concentric stone rings at various elevations in a wetland bowl; Earth, a sculpted mound of soil; Air, an open ring of boulders enclosed by meadow grasses that dance in the wind; Fire, a ladder and colored acrylic referencing places where slaves once worshipped—secret congregations in the woods and church galleries accessed by ladders; Fauna, birdhouses built by students of the nearby Scroggs Elementary School mounted to the tops of red stained poles and marking a seasonal creek; Flora, woodland plants with different blooming times planted in concentric rings, then naturalizing so eventually the rings are indiscernible; Oak and Pine Datum, a ring of oak logs in a hardwood lowland and a ring of pine logs in a pine upland, of equal diameter, allowed to decay over time and thus manifesting their varied surroundings and longevity of wood.
Elemental Landscape was commissioned by the Chapel Hill Arts Commission.
West Hollywood, California, USA, 2002
Starchief was one of six temporary art installations for West Hollywood's "Art on the Outside—Edges and Hedges" exhibit. It was located in the median of Santa Monica Boulevard, at the prominent entry from Beverly Hills into West Hollywood. The artwork addressed the "car culture" of Los Angeles and the manipulation of nature in the urban environment. Its primary element was a 1959 Pontiac Starchief, an iconographic classic car that references Santa Monica Boulevard’s history as the terminus of the old Route 66. The garden consisted of a succession of flowers, pumpkins, and grasses that changed throughout the six-month installation, moving from cultivated order to wild entropy and delighting daily commuters.
Starchief was commissioned by the West Hollywood Arts Commission as part of the Art on the Outside exhibit.
Central Waterfront, Seattle, Washington, USA, 2015.
As part of their collaboration with the Elliott Bay Seawall Project design team, led by the Seattle Department of Transportation and Parsons, Haddad|Drugan worked with a team of engineers and scientists to develop a texture for concrete seawall face panels. While in many ways the seawall is an engineered structure, it is also a dynamic seam where a myriad of elements, forces, and life forms interact in complex ways. The Seawall Project includes a critical goal to improve ecosystem functions along this edge. A primary means is roughening the wall face with texture and shelves that promote the growth of intertidal marine life through the increase of surface area and incorporation of crevices. That surface is a fantastic canvas for a sculptural relief that can merge conceptual meaning with functional requirements.
The concept behind Haddad|Drugan’s design stems from the philosophy put forth in their Seawall Art Programming Plan of articulating the seawall with experimental art that operates as both a catalyst and barometer of ecological function. The Habitat Strata concept is based on theories of biomimicry (the emulation of natural patterns for use in sustainable design) and secondary growth (the colonization of one intertidal species on top on another). The design creates geometric textures that mimic the marine life it is trying to attract. The design includes enlarged geometric renditions of barnacles, mussels, anemone, starfish, and rockweed, arranged vertically on the wall panels in rough alignment with where these life forms live within the intertidal zone of Elliott Bay.
White Center, Washington, USA 2007
Land-Slide is a pocket playground conceived as a sculptural earthwork for the Greenbridge housing development. It includes a stainless steel slide and railing, concrete walls and steps, a sand pit, and plantings. The functional play elements were designed to comply with playground safety guidelines for slopes, railings, steps, fall zones, and surfaces while still offering a unique exploratory environment. The forms were inspired by the flowing characters of many of the languages spoken by the largely immigrant community of Greenbridge. The inward focus of the park encourages social interaction while an etched world map that acts as a non-slip surface on the slide platform references the outward focus of the international community.
Land-Slide was commissioned by King County Housing Authority.
Charles Village, Baltimore, Maryland, USA, 2015.
Optical Gardens is a block-long art plaza that expresses elements of optics, water, and seasonal effects unique to its site adjacent to Johns Hopkins University. Johns Hopkins adds an intellectual vibrancy and ethos of research and discovery, housing the Space Telescope Science Institute among other departments. Pioneers of the clean water movement, Abel and Reds Wolman, were prominent scientists at Johns Hopkins and are honored in the artwork.
Optical Gardens dramatizes the performance of nature by showcasing seasonal shifts and sustainable practices of stormwater management. The artwork is designed around a sequence of four rooms, each distinguished by a season. Trees and shrubs selected to be at their most spectacular during the particular season being highlighted frame each room.
The rooms align along an axis defined by hydrological and optical effects. The optical axis is delineated by a series of stainless steel ring sculptures of graduated sizes that visually link to form a conceptual telescope. The hydrological axis is a stone-lined stormwater swale that feeds rain gardens wrapping around the seasonal rooms. The swale’s meander pattern is derived from the stream studies of Reds Wolman. One section of the swale includes the Wolman Pebble Count, a collection of stones donated in memory of Reds by his colleagues, friends and family. At the center of each of the four seasonal rooms is a stone stage carved with an image depicting water, ranging from the microscopic to the telescopic in conjunction with the graduated sizes of the ring sculptures. The water images include: local microbial organisms, the Chesapeake Bay, global ocean currents, and the galaxy (the location of current searches for water by JHU scientists).
A spotlight will shine on each of the carved stone stages in colors referencing the seasonality of the room: amber for autumn, blue for winter, pink for spring, and green for summer. These colors loosely align with colors of the tree flowers and foliage, which will be illuminated in white uplights.
Manipulated to perform aesthetically, functionally, and conceptually, the rich palette of materials will yield compelling, thought-provoking, and delightful spaces.
Optical Gardens was commissioned by Baltimore Office of Promotion and the Arts. Haddad|Drugan collaborated with RK&K, WRT, and P.E.L.A. on the plaza design. The ring sculptures were built by Atomic Fabrications and the stone medallions were carved by Sebastian Martorana. Stone and ring installation was by Hilgartner and plaza construction by Concrete General.
Nashville, Tennessee, USA, 2013.
Chromatic Spin, an un-built artwork proposed for downtown Nashville, was
conceived for its site’s dynamics as a roundabout experienced through
motion. Sculptural forms on the ground plane create a visual vortex that
focuses attention in and then up, similar to how the self-perpetuating myth of
Nashville draws artists in and then propels them up. A low circular landform
of dark pebbles recalls vinyl records. Its stacked terraces are retained by
metal edging, metaphorically separating the “tracks” on the record. This sets
the stage for three spiraling earthworks inspired by op art record labels.
These wrap around a central tower, the spindle to the landform’s turntable.
The tower is clad in a tapestry of thousands of stainless steel and translucent
guitar picks attached to an internal structure of ribs with graduated spacing
similar to that of guitar frets. At night the tower becomes a chromoscope as
RGB LED floodlights shoot up its chamber, saturating the guitar picks with
vivid rainbow hues and creating a dialogue with the black landscape. The
berms create a conceal-and-reveal effect of the central stage as motorists
drive around the roundabout, resulting in what is imagined to be an
Market Street, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA, 2014.
Drawing inspiration from transitory and ephemeral natural phenomena including bioluminescence, air pressure, and water, Luciferin is an artwork proposed for a Philadelphia high rise that is an urbanized synthetic embodiment of these natural phenomena. The art is a spatial field consisting of over a thousand points of light. Placement of the LED nodes on metal tubes correlates to flash patterns of various species of fireflies. When the weather is dry the LEDs pulse with a green-amber glow through different rhythms. When it is raining they turn blue and move through downward chase sequences, emulating rain. At times the LED nodes can be used to form three-dimensional images made of points of light.
The firefly marquee has a lime green glass canopy that during the day casts a luciferin glow onto the tubes and globes below. The green light is also reflected onto the mirrored glass of the building facade and casts onto the paving at midday, to create a variety of optical effects. A lower clear glass canopy is affixed over the entry area. This provides shelter and also references the childhood activity of catching lightning bugs in a jar and watching them through glass.