Red Eye | East Village Parking Garage

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Client: Kansas City Municipal Arts Commission

Location: Kansas City, USA

Completion date: 2009

Artwork budget: $175,000

Project Team

Artist

Gordon Huether

Gordon Huether + Partners, Inc.

Public Art Agent

Porter Arneill

Architecture Division | Municipal Art Commission Kansas City

Architect

BNIM / 360 Degree Architecture

BNIM / 360 Degree Architecture

Overview

Red Eye adorns the entry to the City-owned parking facility, which is part of JE Dunn’s new headquarters, designed by BNIM/360 (an association of BNIM and 360 Architecture), in downtown's East Village. The installation measures 18’ H x 50’ W and is made of laminated German New Antique Glass & Hand-painted Aluminum.

Goals

Limited space for art and a population more interested in leaving the space than viewing art make parking facilities a unique challenge for artists. An abstract mural was painted on the garage and an oval-shaped red window was inserted in the metal structure to create a red sunlit aura inside the garage during the day and an impromptu street-side light show at night with the help of passing headlights. "The red ‘eye’ references moving tail lights which, as anyone who's left a busy parking garage knows, is what you see on the way out,” Huether says. “The giant abstract painting identifies the public portal to the garage and keeps an eye on the inside of the garage and the neighborhood outside."

Process

Huether worked closely with Kansas City’s public art administrator as well as BNIM/360, an association of BNIM and 360 Architecture in Kansas City, who designed the building. The artwork is situated above the south entrance of the parking garage of which the entire side is clad in 1/8” clear anodized aluminum panels. The cladded area over the garage is 18’ 10” high and 50” wide. The artist decided to incorporate this siding into his design. The project went through several incarnations before the final design was decided upon.