7 Cranes - CODAworx

7 Cranes

Client: Anchorage 1% for Art Program

Location: Anchorage, AK, United States

Completion date: 2013

Artwork budget: $115,000

Project Team

steel fabrication



Studio Manager

Bruce Farnsworth

Sheila Wyne Studios


A gateway to a Japanese immersion school.

The artwork re-envisions the traditional Japanese torii gate as a stand of stylized birch trees. The literal interpretation of torii, is ‘bird perch’. Within the branches of this gateway are 7 origami cranes constructed from folded steel.


This Japanese Immersion School required a celebratory entrance. The torii gate is a traditional Japanese gate most commonly found at the entrance of or within a Shinto shrine, where it symbolically marks the transition from the mundane to the sacred. & Cranes provides a torii gate as a transition to and from the school.

The gate is designed as a group of stylized birch trees that reference the line of birches in front of the school.

Nesting within the branches are 7 cranes. In Japan, the crane is one of the mystical or holy creatures and symbolizes good fortune and longevity because of its fabled life span of a thousand years. The crane is a favourite subject of Haiku poetry and the tradition of origami or paper folding.

For this torii gate the 7 cranes are fabricated to appear to be origami cranes.


Collaborations included:
• the Anchorage School District
• Franklin & Assoc - engineering
• SteelFab - steel fabrication
• General Mechanical - crane fabrication
• Walsky Consturtion - instsallation

Additional Information

painted steel 24’ x 24’ x 4’ Sand Lake Elementary School / Anchorage, AK