Three Friends Floating - CODAworx

Three Friends Floating

Client: Rockville Swim and Fitness Center

Location: Rockville, MD, United States

Completion date: 2022

Artwork budget: $150,000

Project Team

Creative Desgn Management

John Grant

Public Art Services

Structure Engineering

Nick Geurts



Three super-sized ring buoys pierce the Rockville Swim and Fitness Center’s walls, such that they appear on the exterior and interior of the entrance vestibule. A 10.5-ft diameter pink buoy floats vertically above your head in the northwest corner. A 9.25-ft diameter lemon-yellow buoy enters through the eastern vestibule and lobby walls. A 5-ft diameter Kelly green buoy hovers close to the ground, providing seating both inside and outside. After dark, the vestibule becomes a beacon as parts of its upper half are bathed in an animated blue light wave pattern mimicking the view looking up through the surface of a swimming pool.

The ring buoys and, after dark, the blue water ripple projection is integrated with the architecture so that the vestibule itself becomes an essential part of the artwork. By adorning and animating the entranceway both inside and out, day and night, this once utilitarian transitional space becomes iconic, welcoming, and fun, with a gentle reminder to play safe.

22’ x 27’ x 22’
Fiberglass, stainless steel, reflective decal, wave pattern light projectors


The artwork encompasses the site’s context and is integrated with the architecture such that the site becomes an element of the work.


Geller’s process always begins with stakeholder and community engagement which could include learning about the area's history, gaining insight into the community’s vision for the site, and brainstorming about what would enrich and bring together their diverse community.

John Grant (Public Art Services) provided design development and fabrication services for the structure and installation. Nick Geurts (Yetiweurks) provided design and structural engineering services.

Additional Information

In his public art practice, Geller’s participatory sculptures become one of the building blocks that make a space a destination. As such, the work activates the site and promotes interaction among visitors, often creating intimate moments in a singularly public space. Part of his work’s success is that it is physically experiential: viewers understand that there is a place for themselves in it. His sculptures enable moments of respite and delight, befitting the site's functional and visual context. He purposefully uses materials from the everyday environment creating a level of connection to the familiar while highlighting elements of awe and beguilement. The idea is to surprise while fostering the sense of an inclusive community around an unlikely object or location, creating a micro public square or landmark.