Doxa Off tha Rails
Rebar recently developed a proposal (an awesome proposal, we think) for art at the transit hub of Church and Duboce streets in SF at the invitation of the SF Arts Commission. The basic idea was to re-use the streetcar rail that is being torn out as a part of the streetscape redesign and manufacture them into abstract, industrial street furniture for use by the patrons waiting for Muni. From the propsoal description:
Off the Rails is a re-use and re-imagining of the venerable rails that have kept Muni trains moving through Duboce Triangle for the last 40 years. Light rail tracks—recycled from the construction project that is re-shaping the streetscape—are transformed into gestural art pieces that define the space of the boarding island, offer a grounding point for commuters to pause and rest against, and create a distinctive gateway element for the neighborhood. They are reminders of the mutability of infrastructure and their clean, industrial lines speak to the brawn of the commuter system that makes Duboce Triangle the transit-first residential nexus and a model for neighborhoods across the city.
The three sculptures are composed of six stacked rails each, approximately 15 feet long, rising obliquely out of the boarding platform almost as if they were lifting themselves out of the pavement, then diving back into the ground again. Suddenly along their length, the parallel rails bend, separating and converging to create sculptural “moments”: a seat for one, a plank to lean against, a place to tie your shoe.
Now while the idea wasn’t ultimately picked by the SF Arts Commission (congrats to Primitivo Suarez-Wolfe, who was selected for the commission), we thought we’d post it here until it finds a home somewhere…for real, we’d love to see some old rail re-bent into a new transit station somewhere. Until then, you can read our public proposal here.