The art elements for the Edmonds Waterfront Park are the result of a collaborative design by Reid Middleton Civil Engineers, Barker Landscape Architects, and artist Bruce Myers. The waterfront improvements include 450 feet of integrated cast concrete wave design, sculptural paving and planting beds, bronze inlay, and bronze sea life. The serpentine form of alternating wave pattern creates an engaging landmark spanning the length of the waterfront project. The highly integrated artwork informs the experience of movement along the entire expanse of the seawall, serving to deepen public involvement with Puget Sound.
The project is third in a series of waterfront improvements where Myers collaborated with the landscape architect to integrate art into the project infrastructure. Much of the historically industrial waterfront had become vacant, inaccessible and in need of repair. The design objectives included restoring public access to the waterfront, restoring native habitats along the waterfront corridor and making infrastructure improvements that would reclaim the City’s connection to Puget Sound. The design takes into full consideration the structural, environmental and cultural context for creating a bulkhead and beach access that is mindful of the marine habitats, enhances the connection to place and promotes environmental stewardship. “As a collaborative team, working on this segment of the waterfront park was a culmination of all our prior efforts, the sheer scale of which would transform the public’s experience of the site. The artwork unfolds, its form rooted in the ephemeral context of the saltwater environment. Changes in light, water, storm-driven sand and touch interact in a way that is captivating. Our objective became the art of transforming the site, creating a place for people to restore their connection to nature and each other.”
Bruce Myers worked closely with the design team and the City of Edmonds Parks Department to identify opportunities for integrating art that would address the length of the waterfront, considering materials, methods, hard surfaces and amenities that would benefit from being enhanced sculpturally. Our approach to integrating art would become a multilayered and seamless expression of cultural destination and place.
All of the design elements draw their inspiration from nature. The wave pattern, developed by the artist into 24 feet of repeating architectural pattern, was created from ancient wave formations collected by the artist. "The alternating design would frame the length of the project; concrete sidewalks would be sandblasted to create texture and continuity of line, pavers assembled with sculptural inlay would define a sequence of the elemental unfolding throughout. Sculptural planting beds created opportunities to integrate native grasses, boulders, sculptural drain grates and bronze sea life contributing to a unified pallet of form. Our collaboration developed over the course of 9 years. There was a confidence in the art.. that the art and design would support each other and the focused efforts of the many people involved."
The concept of renewal embodies the Edmonds Waterfront project; art is no longer an isolated object, it is the ubiquitous expression of form that is central to the aesthetic of environmental restoration and creating a restorative place for public interaction with the natural world. Time and the ephemeral captured in the art of place.
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CODA: Collaboration of Design + Art
The global online community that celebrates design projects featuring commissioned artworks.
[ manifesto ]
Art matters. Attention to the details of our environment leads to love of place, which brings us to take responsibility for the spaces where we live and work. And by extension, the people with whom we live and work. And by extension, to our local communities, our cities, our nations, and our world.
We champion the role of artists in our society. We need artists to provide us with inspiration, creativity, and imagination, and to help us envision a better world.
Architects and designers know that remarkable design can change everything. They connect the dots across disciplines, collaborating with artists to make the world a more beautiful place. They are the ultimate patrons of the arts.
In the process, design professionals promote imagination and creativity, and through their commissions, make original art integral to and accessible in people's lives.
Art in our public and private spaces helps us fight ordinary buildings, ordinary streets, ordinary cities. We celebrate the extraordinary.
The architecture of our buildings and the design of our interiors affect our happiness and well-being. Each of us deserves a daily dose of inspiration.