Light Dodger

Submitted by Tj Aitken

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Client: Bainbridge Development Group

Location: Rockville, Md, United States

Completion date: 2016

Artwork budget: $145,000

Project Team

Artist

Tj Aitken

Art Consultant

Artist Circle Fine Art

Overview

Artist Tj. Aitken from Holland, Michigan was commissioned by the Bainbridge Companies of Bethesda to design a sculpture for the complex at 15955 N. Fredrick Rd in Rockville Md. at Shady Grove Metro station to Washington DC. The 6 ft. Glass panels are IGU lead glass sandwiched with hurricane glass, louvered to spill wind gusts. Tiny marine spec LED lights are embedded in the surface to illuminate the glass at night. The structure is GFRC architectural light weight concrete with polished, embedded automotive glass from dodge cars, and rear view mirror pieces in the parabola.

Goals

The work commemorates one of the oldest Dodge dealerships in the nation, Reed Brother’s Dodge 1915- 2009. Aitken has done many auto themed sculptures and once worked modeling clay cars around the world. The sculpture was created at his studio in Holland, MI. and transported in sections to Maryland to honor the site history. Light Dodger is a lighted abstraction of two Dodge fenders with large lens like forms of stained glass illuminated by hidden LEDs. The concrete surfaces have polished automotive window and mirror glass from Dodge cars. A set of 8.5 ft. Hemi Piston street lamps line the walk to the station. The steel and aluminum pistons, cradled in concrete crank shaft forms, have thick glass globes re-purposed from an old factory in Michigan, were also designed by Tj.

Process

Bainbridge hired Artist Circle Fine Art consultants to find a sculptor. Once selected Tj did several design iterations of sculptures, furnishings and lighting concepts. Once the Dodger and the Piston Lamps were selected Tj worked carefully with Buch construction and STUDIO39 Landscape Architects in Alexandria to solidify the designs, placements and details of construction footings. All was fabricated at his studio, shipped to Maryland and installed at the artist’s supervision.

Additional Information

The use of GFRC concrete and glass allowed a much larger sculpture than many materials. The new LEDs designed for boats at sea are a great out door stable element. IGU panels are extremely strong and maintain a beauty with little maintenance. Everyone is very satisfied with the results of this project. We expect it to be a landmark for years to come.