Location: Napa, CA, United States
Completion date: 2017
Artwork budget: $230,000
Gordon Huether Studio
LK Architecture Inc.
LK Architecture Inc.
Gordon Huether was commissioned to create ‘The Basket,’ an exterior artwork that serves as a focal point and way-finding element for the entrance of the Archer hotel in Napa, CA. The hotel, which serves as an anchor for the First Street Napa development, officially opened its doors in November 2017. The finished installation measures 22’H x 6’DIA and is made of aluminum and dichroic glass.
The goal for this project was to design an iconic gateway for First Street Napa that also represented and inspired the Napa Valley community. This prompted Huether to reflect on those who established this community long before modern day. The indigenous peoples of Napa Valley who were known for the artistry of their basketry inspired the concept for ‘The Basket.’ Huether’s intent was to honor and remember these artisans with the sculpture’s basket design, while integrating broader, fundamental human themes, such as the Napa community’s shared values and the interwoven experiences of an interdependent community. ‘The Basket’ was deliberately left “unfinished” — the horizontal bands do not reach the top of the vertical splints. Huether’s intent was to acknowledge that a community is never complete or “finished” and that Napa is a constantly evolving community, never stagnant and always dynamic, while acknowledging and honoring the valley’s past, present and future.
Gordon Huether worked with LodgeWorks and LK Architecture to create an artwork that would highlight the revitalization of downtown Napa. The First Street Napa development project was the start of a movement towards drawing new retail and restaurants to the area, with the Archer hotel as the anchor for the development. ‘The Basket’ represents this revitalization and “weaves a story’ about the values of the Napa community and about connecting the various aspects of its history and identity. The final result is a beacon that stands for the Napa community and its renaissance.