Between Wind and Water - CODAworx

Between Wind and Water

Client: County of San Diego Health & Human Services Agency

Location: OCEANSIDE, CA, United States

Completion date: 2018

Artwork budget: $100,000

Project Team



Art Consultant

Gail M Goldman Associates

Industry Resource

Genius Signs and Lighting Company


Balfour Beatty Construction


County of San Diego Health & Human Services Agency


William Short Photography


Lawrence Anderson Photography, Inc.


Located in a health and human services facility that aids individuals in transition and within a community in change, this artwork is composed of scale model remnants of locally significant watercraft, reassembled and reimagined, whimsically coming to life in a process of ongoing metamorphosis. Appearing as a school of fish, these anthropomorphic compositions swirl above the entrance lobby, the main crossing point within the facility, while referencing specific archetypes of marine vessels that have inhabited the adjacent coast.


The North Coastal Live Well Center is a county operated health and human services facility in Oceanside, California that offers a wide range of programs created for the betterment of life for both individuals and families. While addressing a spectrum of issues such as mental health, substance abuse, aging and veterans’ affairs, its common focus centers on the process of transition; aiding in the navigation from an adverse place, situation or mindset to another hopefully better and more sustainable one. Occupying a place betwixt and between, it programmatically draws parallels to the ongoing development of the surrounding area from seaside resort and marine base to evolving residential community. These related dynamics in turn find expression in an artwork composed of 3D printed shapes modeled from functional boat parts. Two hundred “fish-boats” have been assembled from these forms to produce unique combinations that visually resemble familiar marine life counterparts. Suspended individually above the three-story entry, they group together to form a composition that is illuminated from within its central core, allowing it to function formally as part of the building design in the same way as a chandelier.


Working in coordination with the project team and installer, over 400 individual attachments were mapped on to the existing ceiling tile. Thin stainless steel cable was then used to tie the elements one by one to the overhead structure. Lighting was added in collaboration with the building design to serve both to highlight the artwork and to illuminate the space within the parameters of Zero Net Energy requirements.