Ribbons

Submitted by Cliff Garten

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Client: General Services Administration, Art in Architecture Program

Location: San Francisco, CA, United States

Completion date: 2013

Artwork budget: $460,000

Project Team

Artist

Cliff Garten

Cliff Garten Studio

Other

Quick Crete

Other

Patrell Engineering

Overview

Ribbons is a landscape sculpture for the Art and Architecture Program of the General Services Administration, at 50 United Nations Plaza, San Francisco, CA. The courtyard design transforms the classical symmetry of the 1932 Arthur Brown building, by inserting a sculptural matrix of paving, seating, fountains and planting into the building’s 20,000 sq. ft. courtyard. Garten re-envisioned the two classical fountains in Arthur Brown’s original 1932 plan (which were never built) as contemporary granite forms.

Goals

N/A

Process

Engineer: Patrell Engineering, Subcontractor: Quick Crete.

Additional Information

The green character of the courtyard is based on simple sustainable technologies, with low water, shade tolerant planting beneath a grove of 32 white birch trees that create vertical dimension between the active ground plane and the buildings white brick walls. Ribbons cuts a sensitive line between the preservation of the historical architecture and the adaptive reuse of the Federal Building by the GSA and its aggressive Sustainability initiative for the project under GSA’s Design Excellence Program.