Spectral Grove - CODAworx

Spectral Grove

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Client: Wexford Science + Technology, the University City Science Center, and the Philadelphia Redevelopment Authority

Location: Philadelphia, PA, United States

Completion date: 2019

Artwork budget: $234,997

Project Team

Artist

SOFTlab

Client

Wexford Science + Technology, the University City Science Center, Philadelphia Redevelopment Authority

Client

Philadelphia Redevelopment Authority

Structural Engineer

Arup

Overview

Spectral Grove is a permanent outdoor public installation of cascading, latticed ribbons of colored aluminum and steel at the entrance of Pivot Park in West Philadelphia. Commissioned by developer Wexford Science + Technology, the University City Science Center, and the Philadelphia Redevelopment Authority, Spectral Grove is situated at the juncture of 37th and Market Streets, an area which comprises the latest phase of uCity Square, a multi-block mixed-use development home to research labs, offices, and residential space. Spectral Grove aims to recreate the connection between 37th Street, a pedestrian thoroughfare, and busy Market Street by emphasizing the new park situated at their meeting point. The sculpture simultaneously marks the park’s entrance and invites visitors inside with a grove of archways, woven together from intersecting bands of powder-coated aluminum in 28 colors.

Goals

Spectral Grove is meant to act as a new gateway into a new multi block development. It is also located at the corner of Market and 37th Street. Across Market 37th Street is a pedestrian thoroughfare, but 37th street does not align as it crosses Market Street so the goal was to create a focal point on the corner to visually reconnect 37th Street. We considered the arch as a historical urban gateway, but rather than create a binary threshold Spectral Grove is made of many arches that create a canopy. It doesn't have a front or back and acts more like an urban node to slow down, meat, or pass through..

Process

We were commissioned by Wexford Science + Technology and the Philadelphia Redevelopment Authority through an interview process. Once we were selected for the project we worked with the clients and landscape architect for the park to develop Spectral Grove. We worked with ARUP to provide the structural engineering and coordinated closely with the civil engineers on the foundation to provide accurate anchors for the the columns which straddle the two levels of the park.