Jenny Sabin, Architect/Designer SCEE Advisory Team Member
Sam Bower, Green Museum Founder SCEE Advisory Team Member
Michael Weilbacher, Executive Director The Schuylkill Center
Jenny Laden The Schuylkill Center
Ian Mair ArcelorMittal
Shawn Burns REES Construction
Meliora Design, Engineering Consultant
Rain Yard shows every part of the rain’s journey. Blue spiraling gutters carry rainwater from a major roof drain into the rain garden and allow it to pour over native plants below. There, the water can slowly soak into the soil providing moisture to the plants. In dry weather, the piece can be activated by pumping collected rainwater from a cistern into a gutter and hoses to experiment with water and how it filters over a variety of surfaces sampled in galvanized troughs: concrete, asphalt, gravel, lawn and meadow. This piece is built for human and weather interaction.
Environmental Centers need to be active examples of how we can live with nature.
Rain Yard creates a solution to the issue of storm water runoff: it allows the Center’s
landscape to “drink its own rainwater” while creating both a garden and an outdoor
classroom. This artwork melds the disciplines of ecology and art to come up with a site
that creates visually compelling solutions to site issues and supports play with learning.
Rain Yard supports the mission of the Schuylkill Center for Environmental Education a
‘to live in consort with nature’. This artwork creates a new way to experience the
outdoors by reversing the architectural axiom of rain being separated from public areas.
Instead of piping away the rain, this project allows rain and people to inhabit the same
Art that works to create solutions on a site usually needs to be highly collaborative between multiple disciplines. The artist worked hand-in-hand with the Schuylkill Center’s ecologists and civil engineers to make a series of basins calibrated to infiltrate the storm water from the roof in a heavy rainstorm. The education department also worked with the artist to create a viable outdoor classroom that could effectively teach about water quality, watersheds, weather and climate.
The project gives rain the space and time to infiltrate the soil properly while keeping people dry. To satisfy the different needs of the visitors and the weather, this artwork creates a ‘bunk bed’ system: people above and rain below. Here people walk only on the steel catwalk, while the rain spreads out into the garden beneath and travels deep into the ground. The artwork allows people to enjoy the site while not trampling the plants and compacting the wet soil. This project was supported by the National Endowment for the Arts, ArcelorMittal & Rees Construction.
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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.