The Exhale Project is located at the 140 West Plaza in downtown Chapel Hill. The sculpture represents the dispersion and evaporation of water, expressing the hydrologic cycles of the environment. The stainless steel skin of the sculpture becomes the transformative moment of hydrology from liquid to a gas, cooling the ambient temperature of the plaza. The sculpture highlights fluidity and color as fog moves from one end of the sculpture to the other and back again; exhaling and inhaling. At night, the sculpture transforms the plaza with color and luminosity, while also creating a cooling microclimate.
The sinuous forms of the sculpture flow through the plaza, defining pedestrian movement and the various spaces and activities of this sculptural environment. The design of the curvilinear paving highlights the central role of the art elements in collecting runoff throughout the site. The paving pattern emanates and dissipates from the curvilinear forms of the mist sculpture that frame the various spaces in this courtyard. Fluidity and movement are the primary experiences of this space drawing the public towards the central sculptural fountain.
The sculptural environment engages the plaza and visually connects the urban streets that frame it, inviting pedestrians to enter and play. The benches, paving and planters were integrated into the overall conception to create a cohesive environment for art. The central stainless steel sculpture is comprised of four layers of custom perforated and folded stainless steel, inspired by the layers of the respiratory system. The mist is choreographed to move from one end of the plaza to the other and back again to create an experience of breathing and movement. At night, the LED lighting choreography highlights this movement, while offering the community a cooling environment during the summer.
Jeff York, the Public and Cultural Arts Coordinator helped to engage the community throughout this process. Adam Kamens at Amuneal was an important collaborator as the steel fabricator, helping us to define the scale of the perforations and folds in the sculpture. Kline Design, the team architect worked with us to develop the landscape elements from Construction Documents to Construction Administration.
Share Via Email
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.