This sculpture, developed on the brown site of the Saint Paul Ford Motor Co. Factory, is an architectural approach to public artwork and is an interesting departure from parametric design. As we researched the site, the history and intense geological conditions prompted us to create a simple sculptural form with a deep conceptual framework. Rather than creating a beacon or iconic piece, we decided to develop an immersive experience. Part pavilion, part sculpture, this piece compliments the context within which it sits.


Completed: (Proposal)
Medium: Powder-Coated Aluminum/Steel, Stainless Steel
Location: Saint Paul, MN
Size: 16′ x 36′ x 14′


Research into the site’s industrial past unveiled many interesting aspects about how the land was previously developed by the Ford Motor Co. The site’s proximity and access to the river presented a great opportunity for hydropower and transportation. Additionally, the abundance of 99.5% pure silica sandstone below provided a major resource for the development of glass. This eventually led to miles of tunnels at an average depth of 100’ extending under and beyond the factory’s footprint. The scale and visual impact of these tunnels is extraordinary. We have taken inspiration from the tunnels carved below and, from the form, logic, and history of these tunnels, revealed a conceptual path above ground.

The piece can be considered a pavilion, a passageway, a gateway, or even a remnant from the past. It is a space of reflection, quiet, and pause. All elements of this proposal were carefully molded and formed to reference the geology and history of the site in some way. From the grid-like pavers to the prescribed geometries of the walls, every aspect of the project references man made geological and environmental changes to the site. The purpose of the site is to remember histories and look to futures, and the goal of this proposal is much the same.