room within

public art enhancements for the vta santa clara – alum rock bus rapid transit project, san jose, ca
client: valley transportation authority (vta) in conjunction with the san jose public art program

pattern concept development, community outreach and research in collaboration with corinne takara
various pattern designs in collaboration with jose pimienta
king street stations in collaboration with rick moreno
story street sb ceiling by raul delgado

materials: glass, painted aluminum, concrete w/ inlays
size: art treatment in 18 shelters, ±12x8’x8’
glass: triview industries
metal fabricator: magnum companies
concrete: concreteworks
photos: gary shatan, merge

eighteen bus shelter along the santa clara-alum rock bus rapid transit line received art enhancements with the goal to reinforce a coherent identity of the transit line.

the art enhancements consist of three elements – a glass wind screen, metal ceiling panels, and concrete pavers that create a distinct space within each shelter. while the details and materials of these treatments remain the same at each shelter, the patterns vary to give each shelter a unique identity. each station location i.e. north and southbound is defined by one specific color to further strengthen each station’s geographical identity on the transit line.

patterns were derived from stories and elements related to the surrounding neighborhood of each station: detailed research and intense community input helped to select topics that are sometimes historic, and other times contemporary in their reference.

for example, one of the 18 shelters derived its story from the ice arena located at close proximity to the shelter. motifs were created from a flying puck, marks left at the hockey rink after a san jose sharks game (traces on ice, puck marks on bounds), and traditional figure skating instructions.

another station derived its story from local dairies, formerly a prime industry in the area, and now mostly vanished. historic images of dairies and artifacts related to them informed these patterns.

eastbound

17th street
24th street
jackson avenue
alum rock avenue
ocala avenue

westbound

17th street
24th street
jackson avenue
alum rock avenue
ocala avenue

aritz ona

permanent installation for the glendale ave light rail station, phoenix, az
client: valley metro light rail phoenix

materials: painted steel, stainless steel, cable
size: five structures, ±9’x8’x14’ each
structural engineer: structural grace
metal fabricator: magnum companies
photos: merge, valley metro

the glendale avenue light rail station is located in the middle of a busy multi-lane street and is accessible through a 180′ long pedestrian approach along the median.

the art installation consists of five organically shaped canopies lining the walkway to the station, and was inspired by the origins of the name arizona: the basque words “aritz ona” mean “the good oak tree”.

our art “trees” add rhythm, shade, and interest to the station approach, and serve as a landmark to passersby and light rail passengers alike. small, sequin-like elements fill the canopies; they sway lightly in the wind and cast both light dots and shadows on the ground.

sky

permanent light installation for the san francisco international airport, terminal 3, boarding area e, san francisco, ca
light programming in collaboration with morgan barnard
client: sfo, commissioned by the san francisco arts commission

materials: mirror-polished stainless steel, led lights, mineral paint
size: 27 spheres, dia. 2’ – 5’
structural engineer: brad w. smith
fabrication: weltkugelmanufaktur
installation: atthowe fine art services
photos: san francisco art commission, merge

‘sky’ is a suspended light sculpture composed of 27 mirror-polished stainless steel spheres, ranging in diameters from 2 to 5 feet. the globes are hollow with circular openings facing various directions. illumination levels in the interior of each globe change slowly and give the illusion of an expanding and flattening space: it becomes indiscernible whether one looks at a surface or into an opening. the color shades, created both by the painted interior and the lighting components, are representative of various sky colors.

the installation explores the human perception of space. the exterior of the mirrored spheres use reflections to camouflage themselves in their surroundings; they reflect their environment, and distort and reproduce it in miniature. the optical effect caused by the color and light changes in the interior causes the viewer to lose a sense of the spheres’ proportions as objects. the space becomes unreadable – opening and closing at the same time.

sublimare

permanent installation for the new arrivals and departure plaza, terminal 2, san diego international airport, san diego, ca
light projection in collaboration w/ morgan barnard
client: san diego county regional airport authority

materials: glass, painted aluminum, light projectors
size: roadway ±800’x60’& 2 facades ±36‘x20’
glass: triview industries
metal fabricator: paragon steel
lighting components: martin lighting, els
photos: san diego airport, morgan barnard, merge
video: morgan barnard

the artwork for the new arrivals and departure plaza at the san diego international airport connects travelers to their current location – the san diego bay and the pacific ocean. two natural phenomena that occur in and around the san diego bay are the basis for the artwork: the unique giant kelp beds at point loma and the seasonal phenomenon of bioluminescence.

two distinct, but related art installations envelope the plaza: one visually enlivens the underside of the elevated departure roadway that runs alongside the plaza, the other one is located on two facades of the check-in pavilions facing the plaza.

a pattern of kelp leaves was applied to the pavilions’ façades’: the glass panes received a screen print treatment in two grades of translucency, and cut-out, painted aluminum panels were applied to the lower sections of two facades.

bioluminescence in the bay occurs due to a small marine-dwelling unicellular organism called noctilucales. these organisms produce small flashes of light stimulated by wave movement. this is the inspiration for a light projection onto the facades at night time. the projected light pattern is continuously generated from real time data drawn from a noaa buoy in the san diego bay, representing tidal motions and other wave characteristics of the bay.

a flowing pattern of kelp algae with schools of fish weaving in and out made from 1/8” painted aluminum panels are installed flat against the ceiling of the elevated departure roadway.

it leaves

linear mural at rowan dozier layover bus station, east los angeles, ca
client: civic art program, los angeles county arts commission

materials: paint
size: 450’ x 7’
painting contractor: calco painting
stencils: pure black inc
photos: larry hirshowitz, merge

I have walked through many lives,
 some of them my own.
(STANLEY KUNITZ)

Here is what I have and what I owe, 
please listen to the count, the story and the sound.
(PABLO NERUDA)

no doubt the next chapter in my book of transformations is already written.
I am not done with my changes.
(STANLEY KUNITZ)

the creation of the large-scale mural was part of a remodel of a layover bus station in east los angeles. three concrete masonry walls, each 150 feet long, define the perimeter of the station. over time, these walls are being overtaken by deciduous vines, transforming the walls into a backdrop for nature’s play of growth, seasonal change and renewal.

the artwork plays with the notion of obscuring and revealing. painted patterns and text fragments were arranged in several layers to create a lace-like appearance and add a light, transparent quality to the walls. the patterns were derived from the leaf, flower and fruit shapes of the plants in front of the wall. each pattern appears on the wall in direct vicinity to the plant it was developed from. the patterns playfully interact with each other as well as with their natural counterpart and vary between denser, more detailed areas to more open, loose arrangements.

additionally, fragments from two poems are integrated into the patterns – one from pablo neruda’s book “the sea and the bells”, the other one from stanley kunitz’s poem “the layers”. both poems describe life and its meandering ways in face of an ever-changing nature that, compared to our daily lives, seems to follow its own rhythm.

as nature has slowly overtaken the walls, a transformation has been reached: the words of the poets are hidden, to be rediscovered in the next seasonal cycle of nature.

out of sight

shade canopy and seating for a light rail station, metro blue line, willow station, long beach, ca
client: los angeles county metropolitan transportation authority

materials: glass w/ photographic interlayer, steel, concrete w/ relief
size: 9’x30’x1’
structural engineer: brad w. smith
steel contractor: paragon steel
glass contractor: arch aluminum and glass
concrete contractor: quickcrete
willow photograph: alexandr bravo
photos: courtesy of metro © 2006 lacmta, merge

willow station is a busy light rail station along the metro blue line, which links the areas of los angeles and long beach. the premise for this project was the need for platform seating elements as well as a shade structure. the canopy structure utilizes existing pillars for support.

the focus of our artwork is a passenger’s experience when looking out of a train car: watching the passing landscape, a traveler can observe an object from far away, slowly coming close, then for a moment see it almost as a still, frontal image before it disappears out of sight. the memory of a moment can stay in the mind of the observer, almost like a photograph, but the actual image has passed.

in our design we are working with the quality of fleeting images, similar to one’s experience in travel. two photographic images appear on a folded canopy construction. through the special structure of the canopy only one fragmented image can be seen from either platform direction as it is approached. upon approaching there is one moment when one image becomes perfectly aligned and perceivable. upon passing this view point the second image comes into view and fragments the first image. from underneath the canopy both images are equally in view, breaking each other into stripes. the viewer standing right under the canopy also perceives a stretch distortion to the images.

the choice of images is a play on the present and past conditions encountered at the site: the “urban canopy” of the train cables as opposed to the “natural canopy” of the willow trees that once grew right there.

in addition to the canopy, two precast-concrete benches were installed. the benches are inscribed with text fragments which cue the user to the thought process behind the canopy: posing questions about one’s experience of travel and relating to the history of the site.

overcoat

color concept and tile artwork for usc medical center (t47) and california state university los angeles (t48) bus-way stations, los angeles, ca
client: los angeles county metropolitan transportation authority

materials: paint, ceramic tile
tile fabrication: heath ceramics
tile meshing: precision h2o
photos: courtesy of Metro © 2006 LACMTA, merge

the challenge at both bus-way stations was to convert unappealing, utilitarian structures next to a freeway into more attractive environments through new color schemes and tile applications.

at the usc medical center’s bus-way station, the choice of two green and three blue tints counteracts the gray color palette of the immediate surroundings (the interstate 10 freeway and the adjacent railway). the 1970s’ station with a stern atmosphere became transformed into a playful array of color spaces.

the tile application in the station repeats the colors of the paint scheme and forms mosaics of several graphic icons. the icon subjects were derived from the surrounding area of the station as well as the destinations of the bus lines.

at the second bus-way station at cal state la, tints of reds were used to brighten up the station. the basis of the paint scheme for this station was the observation of an ever occurring problem at the site: graffiti. instead of trying to paint over graffiti with a color that is supposed to (but never really does) match the under-laying color, the maintenance staff was provided with rectangular stencils to paint over the graffiti with four distinct red tints. this process of over-coating will create an intentional, random pattern over time that directly reacts to the urban phenomenon of graffiti. it makes the dynamic of tagging and over-coating part of the artwork. additionally, tile applications in two areas of this station work graphically with a similar color palette and rectilinear patterns.