Client: Calgary Public Art
Location: Calgary, AB, Canada
Completion date: 2016
Artwork budget: $150,000
Public Art Services
Marshall Tittemore Architects
Gandy² Lighting Design
New Aspect Design LLC
City of Calgary Public Art Program
Integrated into the landscape adjacent to the entrance of Calgary’s Great Plains Hockey Facility, One Puck Hollow is the Facility’s third arena. The micro-amphitheater provides a gathering space for spectators and players. It references key features of the hockey rink— the face-off circle (the red rail is the same diameter as the face-off circle), the black face-off spot, and the boards separating the rink from the spectator. One Puck Hollow can range from a subtle infiltration in the landscape on a warm summer day to a vivid splash of color on a cold snow-covered winter night (Calgary’s first public art to leverage snow as an element of the work). The LED lights (hidden under the upper rail) illuminate the grass/snow below the rail and gradually change color based on the day’s average temperate in Calgary.
Great Plains Hockey Facility, Calgary
4’ x 60’ x 60’
Painted & unpainted stainless steel, programmed LED lights, snow (seasonal)
An outdoor meeting area, a place where invented games can be played, integrated into the landscape, and a work in which snow is a seasonal element of the artwork.
Geller’s process always begins with stakeholder and community engagement which could include learning about the area's history, gaining insight into the community’s vision for the site, and brainstorming about what would enrich and bring together their diverse community.
John Grant (Public Art Services) provided design development and fabrication services for the structure and installation. Nick Geurts (Yetiweurks) provided design and structural engineering services.
Site development was a collaboration with IBI Group (Landscape Architects) and Marshall Tittemore Architects. Lance Gandy (Gandy Lighting Design) designed the lighting system, and Clint Allen (New Aspect Design) programmed the lighting show.
In his public art practice, Matthew Geller’s participatory sculptures become one of the building blocks that make a space a destination. As such, the work activates the site and promotes interaction among visitors, often creating intimate moments in a singularly public space. Part of his work’s success is that it is physically experiential: viewers understand that there is a place for themselves in it. His sculptures enable moments of respite and delight, befitting the site's functional and visual context. He purposefully uses materials from the everyday environment creating a level of connection to the familiar while highlighting elements of awe and beguilement. The idea is to surprise while fostering the sense of an inclusive community around an unlikely object or location, creating a micro public square or landmark. By considering behavioral design and incorporating dynamic elements activated by people and changes in the weather, the resulting work is in constant flux. Ultimately, the artwork’s goal will be to engender a sense of wonder, enhancing the community and visitor experience.