Client: Denver International Airport
Location: Denver, CO, United States
Completion date: 2017
Artwork budget: $200,000
Gardner Studios LLC
WONG STRAUCH ARCHITECTS, P.C.
This artwork was inspired by the connection the Denver Fire Department has to the communities it serves. Backlit at night, it is intended to create the sense of a beacon, shining over the surrounding neighborhoods.
Aerial views of Denver street grids and geography provide a background to the central image of the firefighter’s cross. From that symbol, a beam of light and energy (or perhaps the sound of a siren) is projected outward and over the neighborhood streets, symbolizing the firefighters’ vigilance and their protection of the communities they serve.
The goal of this project was to create an artistic tribute to the Denver Fire Department that would complement the architecture of Fire Station 35 and introduce color and light to the facade. This particular fire station serves the Denver International Airport and is located along Peña Boulevard. A majority of viewers will experience the artwork from the road as they approach the airport. The imagery was designed to be bold enough to be effective when viewed from a long distance, but complex enough to have layers of interest and information. Some viewers will recognize the aerial street grids of both downtown Denver (in which two sections of the city meet at a 45-degree angle due to the beginnings of the city as two different mining claims along two different river banks) and the airport area, while other viewers will see the lines as a background abstraction. Up close a viewer can see the central glass details that are relief castings of tools and equipment from the fire station.