Portal - CODAworx


Client: The Bay Conservancy

Location: Sarasota , FL, United States

Completion date: 2022

Project Team

Principal Designer / Fabricator

Ryan Swanson

The Urban Conga


Maeghann Coleman

The Urban Conga


Alden Copley

The Urban Conga

Designer / Lead Fabricator

Juan Esparza

The Urban Conga


Brianne De La Torre

The Urban Conga


The installation becomes a portal for people to engage with the work, each other, and the surrounding environment in new ways. Portal becomes a timeless playable landmark for people to lounge, converse, connect, and even do yoga. The open-ended playable design and movement of the bench allows the user to feel ownership of the bench and space to make it their own. The flowing form becomes a visual landmark framing the Sarasota Bay in the work’s cylindrical forced perspective. During the equinox, the work frames the sunset perfectly centered. The interlocking archways also frame out a more ample gathering space where people can sit and come together as a larger group. The piece becomes more than just an outdoor bench and becomes a programmable community space. The entire bench takes up an 8’W x 8’L x 8’H space. The main structure of the bench is made of recyclable stainless steel that is then powder-coated with any custom color. The bench is lined with a highly sustainable Kebony wood that is made for outdoor use. The work is not only functional but highly durable for outdoor use over time.


The installation serves as part of a series of playable activations along the new Bay waterfront renovation that focus on creating an ecosystem of playable opportunities for all intertwined within the new park. It showcases how these often once overlooked and underutilized situations like a public park bench can turn into an inclusive, stimulating outlet for communal connection through open-ended play design. Play is our natural driver as humans to discover, explore, and empathize with others. Through creating these experiences like Portal, we are showcasing the value of implementing more play for everyone in everyday spaces. The work becomes a communal landmark that sparks memorable experiences that keep inviting people to come back and engage with the work, the surrounding environment, and each other in new ways each time.


Portal was designed, fabricated, and installed by The Urban Conga for the Bay Conservancy’s new Bay Park in Sarasota, FL. The designs for the work were driven by community engagement that was done in the beginning phases of the park’s design development. The Urban Conga worked with Agency Landscape and Planning, who designed the new segment of the park to add a series of playable opportunities to serve as moments of social activation along the waterfront during the construction of phase two of the park.