Portal - CODAworx


Client: The Bay Conservancy

Location: Sarasota , FL, United States

Completion date: 2022

Artwork budget: $110,000

Project Team

Principal Designer / Fabricator

Ryan Swanson

The Urban Conga

Principal Designer / Lead Fabricator

Juan Esparza

The Urban Conga


Alden Copley

The Urban Conga


Brianne De La Torre

The Urban Conga


Portal is a swinging social bench that utilizes sight, movement, and play to spark a deeper perception of the surrounding environment. The installation becomes an opportunity for visitors to reconnect with the natural landscape and think about our impact on the sea-level rise that is affecting the Florida coast. The form creates a view portal that creates a shared connection to the bay. During the equinox, the sun sits perfectly within the work’s circular forced perspective. The interlocking curved forms are designed to frame a more ample gathering space along the walkway where people can sit and come together as a larger group to take in the sunset views, converse about the changing area, or even have a picnic. The entire piece becomes a programmable community space along the waterfront. As one sits or lays on the floating bench and stares into the water as they sway back and forth, they begin to feel like they are floating on the water in solitude. The curved design of the bench provides a variety of open-ended social seating interactions for up to 4-5 people to sit together simultaneously. The bench is lined with highly sustainable Kebony wood, and the structure is made from recyclable stainless steel for long-lasting durability.


Portal was designed to become 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. Becoming a timeless piece of art that is always changing and responding to the people, the environment, and the interactions between them. Portal becomes a multifunctional platform for people to share, listen, and learn about the past, present, and future of the area. It serves as one part of a series of playable activations along the new Bay waterfront that were created by The Urban Conga to spark community activity and social interaction during the multiphase redevelopment of The Bay Park.


Portal was designed and created 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.