Gardiner Streams

Submitted by Katharine Harvey

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Client: Concord Adex

Location: Toronto, ON, Canada

Completion date: 2015

Artwork budget: $200,000

Project Team

Artist

Katharine Harvey

Art Consultant

Ben Mills

Public Art Management

Client

Gabriel Leung

Concord Adex

Industry Resource

Jaime Caballeros

Pulp Studio

Overview

Concord Adex commissioned this colourful billboard window seen from the Gardiner Expressway for the façade of Quartz Condominium Towers at 75 Queens Wharf Road in downtown Toronto, Canada. The artist photographed blurred car headlights on the highway and collaged these images together to create dramatic red, yellow, and blue vertical bands. Her design was enlarged to 35 by 74 feet (2600 square feet) onto transparent Dupont window film and embedded in between layers of glass. The three storey tall public artwork is located at Concord CityPlace beside the eight-acre park designed by Douglas Coupland.

Goals

The architecture studio, RAW, designed the window frame and required an artist to fill it with a unique design. The window covers the amenity space of the condominium which features a swimming pool on the central storey. The client wanted a site-specific artwork which related to the building’s location beside a busy expressway. The artist photographed vehicles streaming past the building at night and worked with these blurred images to create a reflection and celebration of this busy artery into the city. Residents using the swimming pool can view the colourful windows from the inside which cast dramatic shadows on the surface of the water. At first, the artist designed her image as a river flowing past, but she found the vertical window mullions cut the flow of the horizontal lines, so she turned the work 90°. In the resultant image, the window mullions skip and dance with the work, reinforcing the movement captured in the piece. The brilliant hues of the glass enliven the highway corridor, and passing motorists enjoy its celebratory colour and light.

Process

The six-month design process was a collaborative endeavour between the client, art consultant, architectural team, engineers, and artist. The client reviewed several designs from the artist before choosing the final image. The artist worked with a print house in Los Angeles, Pulp Studio, to produce a digital transparency of this magnitude. The artwork is printed onto SentryGlas Expressions by Dupont.