Alexandria Aerie - CODAworx

Alexandria Aerie

Client: City of Alexandria Parks and Recreation and Lardner/Klein Architects

Location: Alexandria, VA, United States

Completion date: 2018

Artwork budget: $120,000

Project Team


Carol May

May & Watkins Design


Tim Watkins

May & Watkins Design


John Franzen

May & Watkins Design

Senior Landscape Architect

Elisabeth Lardner

Lardner/Klein Landscape Architecture, P.C.

Landscape Architect

Cara Smith

Lardner/Klein Landscape Architecture, P.C.

Liaison with all stakeholders and community

Diane Ruggiero

Deputy Director Recreation, Parks & Cultural Activities Department


This project was an opportunity to bring art and play together. We created a sculpture that functions as an overlook, and that children and adults can climb on and under. We also created two complementary mosaic sculptures and a decorative entrance gate. This suite of sculptures is a Signature Piece that defines the new entrance to Simpson Park.


In the new Simpson Park design, the entrance leads directly to the playground, so it was essential that the public art sculpture serve as an attractive, inclusive signature sculpture, as well as a playground element for the children.
Our installation includes four sculptures that greet the viewer as he/she enters the Park, the climb on play structure, two concrete and mosaic sculptures and a colorful decorative gate.


We worked with the City Parks and Public Art team to develop this suite of sculptures. Our initial charette with the community made it clear that we needed to design a piece that was more than a free-standing sculpture. The community wanted an installation that included play.