QUERCUS - CODAworx

QUERCUS

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Client: Holland Partner Group

Location: Oakland, CA, United States

Completion date: 2021

Artwork budget: $218,000

Project Team

Art Consultant

Chandra Cerrito

Chandra Cerrito Art Advisors

Industry Resource

Tik Tam

KZ Tile

Artist

WOWHAUS

Overview

Opalescent mosaic transforms a garage into signature landmark. Each piece of this 28′ x 30′ mosaic mural is hand-cut and unique, creating a shimmering, painterly effect via thousand of pieces of opalescent and mirrored glass that imbue the space with warmth and dynamism. This architecturally-integrated artwork transforms a North-facing parking garage wall into a vibrant focal point of a mixed use development, becoming a beacon in the cityscape. The oak tree is the namesake of Oakland; artwork composition is inspired by a photo of an acorn bract taken under a microscope, rendering the microscopic monumental. The spectrum of colors within the the mosaic evokes the rich cultural diversity of the City. Bordering a greens space, the mosaic will be flanked by 40′ bamboo and plantings when the development is completed, the greenery complementing the organic composition of the artwork to create a welcome oasis within the City.

Goals

The goal was to create a conceptually and aesthetically compelling art landmark that reflects a unique sense of place, activating a large, North-facing wall on the parking garage of a new residential development via colorful, architecturally-integrated artwork. Complementing the contemporary architectural design, this hand-crafted, abstract mosaic offers a fresh perspective on the oak tree, namesake of Oakland. The highly durable glass mosaic is impervious to the elements and will not fade, also meeting the clients' goals for minimal maintenance in this exterior site. WOWHAUS utilized a rich, shimmering color palette of glass with iridescent highlights that catch the light, creating an immersive, atmospheric effect that is ever-changing, enlivening and animating the wall. Conceived of as a signature beacon in the streetscape that distinguishes this new development, the mosaic is striking when seen afar and intriguing when viewed up close, thanks to the thousands of hand-cut glass pieces, each of which is unique.

Process

WOWHAUS collaborated closely with the developer, architect and landscape architect, art consultant, City agencies, engineer and installation contractor throughout the project, ensuring successful site integration. Beginning with assessment of the clients' goals and vision for the project, we developed a site-responsive, architecturally-integrated design that was refined via our iterative, collaborative design development process, culminating in approval of a final design with material samples. WOWHAUS facilitated sucesful approval of the design with City agencies via collaboration with the Art Consultant and worked closely with the client to dovetail the art installation with the overall construction schedule of the building on this large-scale development. Careful coordination with the General Contractor was essential since the artwork is integral to the wall. Collaboration with designers maximized the impact of the artwork; WOWHAUS offered input into complementary paint colors, plantings and lighting in order to maximize impact of the artwork

Additional Information

We take an innovative, modern approach to the ancient medium of glass mosaic. In lieu of pictorial, representative designs, we create bold, abstract, mosaic artworks that are architecturally-integrated, complementing the aesthetics of contemporary architecture. In this piece, we hand-cut mosaic pieces, many in the form of rectangles that are arranged vertically to create a sleek, cascading pattern within the composition, complemented by organic curvilinear lines. We retain the original beauty and patterning of the glass, achieving painterly gradations and shimmering iridescent highlights by painstakingly combining glass obtained from eight distinctive international glass manufacturers.