Doxa Orange right arrow Zephyros comes to (digital) life

Last week we submitted our invited proposal for the San Francisco Arts Commission’s public artwork at the Palega Recreation Center in the Portola neighborhood…and were proud to make what we think is pretty strong use the letter Z in a project name….and the wind conditions across the site! Check out the proposals page online. This is a bit of a departure from Rebar’s usual public art direction (form-wise) but nevertheless is part of our ongoing exploration of interactive site elements that engage the public with their social and physical environment. From the description…

Zephyros is a wind-activated sculpture in the form of a helix composed of reflective panels braided around a tall aluminum mast. Three unique, tapered  spirals—clustered in the landscape at the crossroads of park pathways—will gently spin at varying speeds, revealing wind patterns that may be unnoticed at ground level. The reflective stainless steel panels will capture light and mirror the activity in the park and in the surrounding neighborhood.

Zephyros is both an environmental art piece that captures and reveals wind patterns in the sky, and a social sculpture that literally reflects the park and the neighborhood. Looking at the piece from below, the visitor sees her own reflection, but also the neighborhood and the sky in an ascending collage high above. The movement in the sky will be made visible on the ground as the sun casts dynamic, undulating shadows across the landscape.

The gently warped panels are made of a light, mirror-finish stainless steel sheet with a reinforcing rib. The design process will test various finishes to identify the best option that shimmers and reflects the sky and light, but does not produce unwanted glare. The panels are light enough to be activated by the wind, but durable enough to withstand the elements. Because they are attached to a single sleeve around the mast, they will turn in sync and use their combined wind force to add to the overall motion.

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Written by Blaine

December 1st, 2010 at 3:15 pm