James Wong City of Stockton Department of Public Works
This Project includes series of three railroad crossings designed to celebrate community identity. A railroad double switch design, symbolizing mobility and connection provides pattern inspiration for concrete retaining walls, barrier rails and the featured railroad security fencing at Lower Sacramento Road Overcrossing. Agricultural equipment: discs, plows and motors, inspires laser-cut pattern imagery for fencing throughout the project. All fencing is green symbolizing Stockton’s agricultural roots and its reputation as a crossroads for both storage and distribution of goods, supported by the railroad.
The goals of the project are to add human scale and local context to three railroad bridges that are aligned along Eight Mile Road, marking the boundary of North Stockton. Stockton’s agricultural roots and its reputation as a distribution and storage hub inspire the imagery for this project. The project’s concrete patterning motifs are abstracted from railroad switch designs. The metal work for fencing is inspired by agricultural equipment: plows, discs and gears. The repetition of form imitates the repetition of rows and crops that align Eight Mile Road. The project successfully transforms security fencing, pedestrian fencing, barriers, abutments and large walls into pattern statements that reflect local identity.
The artwork for this project is integrated into functional elements that are required for the project. The integration of form and structure required close collaboration between the artist and the engineers. Repetition of form was required to meet project budget requirements. Also, this repetition is reflected in the landscape plan and in the nearby crops and fields. Throughout the project, patterning transforms the infrastructure by adding human scale to roadway scaled walls and infrastructure. Nesting of patterns creates and overlay of design motifs that work together and complement each other. Also, the sun arcing across the sky, creates dramatic shadow patterns cast from the railings on the pedestrians paths, transitioning from exact replications of railing forms to abstracted geometries. Also, the light and shadow patterns on the concrete relief create a dramatic display throughout the day.
Through modest means this project succeeds in transforming generic infrastructure into contextually inspired design. By adding symbolism and pattern motifs that are meaningful to the community, the project becomes beautiful and inviting, while providing safe passage for pedestrians and vehicular traffic, along this busy section of roadways and railways.
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