“Rainbow Sunset” features optical color blending, utilizing colorful translucent fins placed over colorful curved graphics, to suggest the hues of a sunset. The work, sited on north and west sides of the parking garage, activates these faces, providing visual interest and color. The work interacts with sunlight, color and movement, creating ever-changing nuances of color. The work marks a busy intersection at Little Patuxent Parkway and Broken Land Parkway, potentially becoming a new community landmark.
The goals of this project were to add color, movement and scale to the Merriweather Parking Garage. The Developer, Howard Hughes Corporation, wanted to activate the north corner and west wall of the parking structure, with a kinetic artwork. Art consultant, William Cochran, invited us to create a proposal for the client based on this information. Because we proposed after the project was nearly completely complete, we were required to work with the load constraints and conditions of the newly built structure. We determined that a practical way to achieve the client's goals was to use a lightweight product, KodaXT, a colorful polycarbonate material known for its color retention and longevity in exterior applications. By creating a series of fins, color mapped and sequenced to the building module, we were able to imply kinetic movement through color shifts that are enhanced by the movement of the sun across the site. This method met the client's goals, requiring minimal changes to the structure and delivering maximal "wow" factor and implied movement to the site. The work meets and exceeds the client's expectations. The dynamic Artwork is fast becoming a new local landmark in downtown Columbia.
Even though the parking garage project was substantially complete when we joined the project team, we were allowed to work with the client's engineer and the client's builder, in order to conform the Artwork to the site and its structure. The development of the Artwork proceeded most like a design-build project, with close coordination between all parties: the client, the builder, the engineer, the artist, and the art consultant. Our challenge was to meet the budget and the load limits while creating a sense of implied movement through reflective color, activated by the sun's movement. Initially, we tested our fin and color concept in a digital model and distributed the visualizations to the team. After we won approval to proceed, we tested colors and materials on the building, and we invited the project team to review our work and comment. We worked closely with all parties on final color selections for the colorful graphic curves that were painted directly on the building with Golden Paints, and for the fin color choices and finishes. The finished work, visually activates the site, adds a major new artwork to the community and is fast becoming a local landmark.
This project meets or exceeds all of our expectation. The color is especially dynamic and rich in the late afternoon sun, when the warm afternoon light glows through the translucent fins and bathes the building façade in a variety transparent washes that are ever changing and evocative. The artwork is very dynamic, responding to seasonal change, and the quality of light. It strongly suggests the colorful sunsets of Maryland's skies and adds its own intrinsic beauty to the Columbia Town Development.
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CODA: Collaboration of Design + Art
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[ 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.
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In the process, design professionals promote imagination and creativity, and through their commissions, make original art integral to and accessible in people's lives.
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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.