Changing Gears

Submitted by Ulrich Pakker


Client: City of Lancaster, Pennsylvania

Location: Lancaster, PA, United States

Completion date: 2014

Artwork budget: $50,000


Installed next to a playground and a basketball court in an urban park, Changing Gears engages all sorts of audiences with its historical, environmental and playful components. The stylized pitcher and barrel, with their water flow, recall the site’s past identity as a brewery while providing a shallow basin for play for the numerous children who play here every day after school. The gears reflect the light industry of the recent past: watchmaking. Stylized computer chip panels inlaid into the faces of the gears look to the future of the city.


Directly below the sculpture site lies a storm-water management cistern. When there has been a lot of rain, this cistern provides water for the water feature. The LED lights in the water-flow and the computer chip panels change colors depending on the water level in the cistern. In this way, the park's visitors see the invisible, allowing them to see how their urban environment reflects their climate.