Unity Plaza

Submitted by Lauren Faske

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Client: Public Safety Headquarters

Location: San Antonio, TX, United States

Completion date: 2012

Artwork budget: $800,000

Project Team

Other

Lauren Faske

Public Art San Antonio

Other

San Antonio Public Art Commission

Overview

The public artwork at Unity Plaza honors the service men and women who “protect the grid” of the City of San Antonio. The plaza contains an 18,000 square foot mosaic map of San Antonio that delineates the San Antonio River, and major roadways and interstates. Lit at night by built in lighting strips, the illuminated roads unite at the plazas beacon tower which extends almost 60 ft. high, and emits a beam of light extending two miles into the sky.
Capping the northern edge of the plaza are two 16 ft steel silhouette sculptures of an officer and firefighter.

Goals

Unity Plaza is the result of complete integration of public art into the exterior surrounding of the Public Safety Headquarters. Beginning with the mosaic map or grid of San Antonio that encompasses the entire plaza, the project expands to include strategic landscaping, native plants, and large scale sculptures that both enhance and distinguish the building. The LED lights that illuminate the plaza create a sense of space and a mark a unique place for the public to contemplate and enjoy both during the day and night.

Process

The artist worked with city staff, Police and Fire Chiefs, project landscape architects and engineers, as well as private donor groups in creating the public artwork at Unity Plaza. Each group contributed a unique perspective on how the project should be represented, with the final product resulting in a unified and exceptional vision of the artists.

Additional Information

Unity Plaza is Public Art San Antonio's largest commission, and is the only permanent light sculpture in the United States. The project materials range from 20,000 sq ft of stone tile, painted steel, LED in-ground lighting,synchrolite skylight, native vegetation, decomposed granite and boulders.