Submitted by Douglas Hollis

Client: Arlington County, VA

Location: Arlington, VA, United States

Completion date: 2011

Artwork budget: $254,000

Project Team

Landscape Architect

Hargreaves Associates


Douglas Hollis


Wave Arbor is a kinetic, wind-activated sculpture. It is made of perforated, anodized aluminum wing forms supported by a painted steel armature. As the wind blows through the Arbor it sends the array into a rocking, wave-like motion. The perforated, double skin of the wings create a moiré’ pattern as one looks up through them, and they cast dynamic shadows on the paving below. At the tips of each wing there are solar-powered LED lights, punctuating the motion of the Wave. There is also a line of up-lights in the paving that illuminate the array at night. 25’x35’x88′


The work is located in a new 38acre park across the Potomac River from National Airport. The primary purpose of the park are 3 world-class soccer fields surrounded by dramatic landscape forms, all designed by Hargreaves Associates. I wanted the Wave Arbor to be in harmony with this design, but to also create an iconic work for the park. Seen from the adjacent street, the Arbor acts as a lure, beckoning people to come into the park. It also creates a rhythmic shade structure for people.


Although I was awarded the commission late in the design process I was able to integrate the work, and was able to get structural foundations and lighting provided by the park construction budget. This allowed me to maximize the public art funds.