URBAN Phoenix Parks: Downtown Civic Space ParkPosted by Artur Ciesielski on Thursday, June 18th, 2009 at 8:47am.
Downtown Phoenix oasis in the high-rises.
On any evening when the city is still the new Downtown Civic Space Park is busy with conversation: people wander around the lighted displays: they sit on the tables discussing the days news: children play in the lighted water fountain and people exercise en mass on the lush green lawn. The park opened earlier in 2009 after a large redevelopment of the lot. It's a needed space in an other wise barren concrete, steel and glass landscape of high rises.
It's also a complementary space for the new downtown Phoenix, ASU campus, part of which is across Central Ave. The park is innovative and interactive and the best time to visit is when the sun goes down. It's once the natural light disappears that the main sculpture inspired by the monsoon cloud formation lights up as if a thundercloud shining with flashing warm light of lightning. The idea is very appropriate as the monsoons in the valley are often exemplary, beautiful and sometimes frightening in their power.
"Q: Who is the selected artist?
A. Janet Echelman is an eminent international artist known for sculpting exciting public spaces. Her work has been installed in a dozen nations throughout Asia, Europe, and North America. She draws much of the inspiration for her works from the history, culture and built and natural environments of each site. She was part of a team that designed the 9/11 memorial for Hoboken, NJ, across the Hudson River from where the World Trade Towers stood. She has designed a major outdoor work for the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics. In 2005, she completed She Changes, a monumental wind sculpture made of steel and netting in Porto, Portugal. The artist and her team of architects are coordinating the design and location of her Downtown Civic Space sculpture with numerous city departments and EDAW, the landscape architecture firm designing the park.
Q: What did Echelman design for the park?
A: The Civic Space piece Echelman designed is similar to the wind sculpture she created in Porto, Portugal. The Phoenix sculpture is suspended approximately 40 feet above the ground on a structural steel armature. It rises to a height of about 100 feet and will be about 100 feet in diameter across the top.
Q: What other special features or aspects does the sculpture include?
A: The artist was inspired by Arizona’s distinctive monsoon cloud formations and Saguaro cactus blossoms, the state flower, to create a vortex-like form which hangs from the two rings. In addition to the rings, the sculpture features light-weight netting that billows and moves with the wind, capturing the dynamic beauty of desert light and the movement of gusts and breezes. Specialized lighting will give the work and the park a landmark presence at night. The net will be made of durable polyester twine with integral colors in blue and violet. The stamen-like core of the sculpture will be yellow."
Location: 424 N. Central Ave | Downtown Phoenix | Arizona
Written by: Artur Ciesielski | tel. 602.492.8004 | e-mail: email@example.com
Artur is a Realtor and partner with inPhoenix Realty Group of HomeSmart Elite Group and Absolute Exhilaration and an aspiring flaneur. View my personal site for other writings and photos: The Rational Flaneur.
Currently he's in Phoenix or elsewhere when time allows, which is rarely, but that is going to change. You can find him running up miles on his car listening to NPR, cycling the urban Phoenix, in the office on Central or working at one of the many coffee bars in Urban Phoenix.
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