The Capitol Riverfront is a lively new neighborhood in Washington DC bursting with restaurants, nightlife, parks, entertainment and culture. F1RST Residences is an upscale rental property located at the center of it all. I was commissioned to create a 54" x 62" mosaic wall sculpture for a prominent niche in the building's lobby.
The artwork chosen for this particular niche needed to be striking, as it is positioned at the end of a 100 ft entryway and the first thing visitors see. Hickok Cole's design concept for the lobby was inspired by the nearby Potomac River, so they envisioned an art piece that expressed the beautiful shimmer and reflection that one sees as the sun hits the water’s surface. With that in mind, we opted for a mosaic that is extremely detailed, yet simple in it's flanked design, consisting of silvered water glass that glistens as it catches the light from the street level windows. Much of the hand-cut glass is dichroic, melding from green, to turquoise, to blue, adding to the kinetic, water-like energy of the piece.
Price Modern initiated contact and secured the commission and eventually Hickok Cole Lifestyle was looped into the conversation to finalize the design details. One of the biggest design challenges for me was figuring out how to create this mosaic as a single piece, in the desired dimensions. Because there are multiple layers of glass, the design is quite heavy and so I would typically break it up into a series of panels, such as a triptych or a diptych. To be created as a large single unit, I knew the piece needed to be modular, however, due to the orientation of the tiles, it cannot be made modular with panels that align vertically--only horizontally. To achieve a seamless connection, stacking top on bottom is much more challenging and less forgiving than side by side. This required that both the craftsmanship and installation be meticulous, as well as implementing two back-side T-bars to lock the horizontal seams in place, and an additional row of tiles running along the outer edge to camouflage the seam. The project manager visited my studio mid-process to check progress, and once completed, the piece was shipped out, and as hoped, was flawlessly installed by their team.
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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.