“Welcome to Port Everglades” Traffic Security Checkpoint

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Client: Broward County, Florida

Location: Fort Lauderdale, FL, United States

Completion date: 2017

Artwork budget: $252,625

Project Team

Artist

The Art Studio

RDG Planning & Design

Artist – Clay fabrication

The Art Studio

RDG Planning & Design

Client

Broward County, Florida

Signage and Metal

ASI Signage Innovations

Metal Fabrication

Iowa Metal Fabrication, LLC

Installation

Imperial Stone

Overview

“Welcome to Port Everglades” a vehicular security checkpoint in Broward County, Florida, is a comprehensive public art integration that transforms an existing busy entrance to one of the largest ports in the US. Based on indigenous Florida plant forms (palms and palmettos), the imposing concrete structure is animated with pattern, color, and lighting to create a dynamic new impression for the visitor. The installation features hand-made terra cotta “leaves,” by the studio and Italian mosaic glass, laser-cut stainless steel, LED lighting, and photographic film.

Goals

Transformation through integrated art.

Port Everglades Entryway public art integration is inspired by and expresses a connection to the surrounding natural landscape. The art ultimately seeks to transform a generally imposing physical presence of a security checkpoint through color, texture and visual play referencing a vernacular form from nature, the iconic palm tree. While careful to maintain clear, unobstructed sightlines to information and directional signage and graphics as well as security and visual surveillance and artificial lighting, the color, texture, and patterns of the artwork are a combination of custom formed and glazed ceramic relief tile, mosaic glass, and metal panel wrapping. An ensemble of cladding for the massive concrete columns of the checkpoint, a cut metal fascia and large graphic “razzle dazzle” pattern on the otherwise standard checkpoint booths create a new and welcoming experience for the visitor. The arrangement of textures and color on the existing given structure transform the otherwise utilitarian checkpoint into a more welcoming experience.

Process

Evaluating the artistic options to transform the existing checkpoint and working within the constraints of existing signage, sightlines and the security needs of a checkpoint, the concrete columns and canopy structure of the checkpoint were determined to provide the highest level of impact and provide the most transformative effect. Capitalizing on the given size and scale and regularity of the concrete column structure as an armature in support of the art allowed for a transformation of these imposing elements into artistic elements. Seen from both far away on the road approach as well as quite literally “right out your window” as you drive through the checkpoint, artistic reference celebrates the “tree trunk” (in this case – palm tree forms) as both form and function and as a source for pattern, color and textures that can be appreciated from afar and near. In this way, the work functions on many different levels. The work can be experienced and enjoyed as simply colorful elements in an otherwise drab and ordinary setting and the work can touch the mind of the more inquisitive suggesting a second look perhaps at patterns found in nature.

Additional Information

An example of integrated art in an “Art-in-Transit” installation, the project transforms and creates an artistic camouflage – a play of color and pattern referencing nature onto an otherwise imposing utilitarian structure. With “razzle dazzle” artful graphic patterning and textures inspired by the iconic palm, “Welcome to Port Everglades” creates a more human and welcoming experience for visitors entering the Port.