Wind Bridge

Submitted by Los Angeles Metro

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Client: LA Metro

Location: Los Angeles, CA, United States

Completion date: 2020

Project Team

Senior Manager Transportation Planning, Arts & Design

Mayen Alcantara

LA Metro

Senior Manager Transportation Planning, Arts & Design

Letitia Ivins

LA Metro

Overview

Wind Bridge is a system of integrated metal panels along the pedestrian bridge connecting a new busway station to Union Station and Patsaouras Transit Plaza.
California artist Ned Kahn’s design for the 750- foot-long Wind Bridge utilizes hinged perforated stainless-steel panels that move with the wind and reveal a subtle, rippling moire effect of light and shade. Lighting at night reveals patterns as silhouettes against illuminated surfaces inside the bridge. This artwork presents an opportunity for close and repeat viewing that changes day-by-day. Kahn is internationally known for artworks that reveal environmental forces like wind by converting natural flow patterns into pixelated motion. He calls these artworks “detectors” because they are analogous to the detectors on telescopes and other scientific devices that reveal the effects of the invisible.

Goals

LA Metro’s mission is to provide a world-class transportation system that enhances quality of life for all who live, work and play within LA County. Wind Bridge, designed by artist Ned Kahn, illustrates Metro Art’s long track record of commissioning thoughtfully integrated, site responsive artwork to transform the customer experience as patrons connect to LA’s growing Metro Rail system. The artwork is located at the new Patsaouras Plaza Bus Station, located adjacent to LA Metro’s historic Union Station in downtown Los Angeles, and it exerts a positive and inspiring moment for the more than 100,000 passengers that visit Union Station daily.

Process

Kahn, internationally known for artworks that reveal the patterns occurring in environmental forces, was selected for this commission due to his ability to apply natural phenomena in a sculptural application. His multidisciplinary collaboration with the design and engineering team influenced the pallet of materials, resulting in the seamless integration of Wind Bridge into the infrastructure to provide a safe pedestrian respite from the vehicular traffic flanking each side. Clearly visible to freeway drivers and acting as a navigational landmark for Metro customers, the 750 ft elevated passageway is clad by a double array of almost 200 stainless-steel perforated panels that swing in the breeze and reveal subtle, rippling moiré patterns of light and shade.

Additional Information

For the last 25 years, Ned Kahn has created artworks that seek to increase awareness of natural phenomena. Using elements such as water, wind, fog and light, Kahn has worked to create contemplative oases in urban environments, places where people can reconnect with the larger forces of nature. He is interested in creating artworks that blur the boundaries between art, science and architecture."