Urban Fabric

Overview

Conceptually we sought to create an exciting and uplifting piece that represents the diversity and inclusiveness of Bloomington and its dedication to public art. Our approach to the 4th Street parking garage façade looks at traditional quilts for inspiration. A basic quilt block is subdivided in a few simple ways using numerous types of fabric to create unique patterns. Through design and limited variables, a few key moves transform very modest parts into a complex textural fabric.

Details

Completed: In Progress
Medium: Painted Aluminum
Location: Bloomington, IN
Size: 312′ x 30′ x 6″

Description
Local businesses and life-long residents interact with thousands of students from all over the globe in this diverse community. We were able to take formal cues from a quilt to describe the vibrant Urban Fabric of Bloomington in a very bold way. Nearly 10,000 colorful parts come together to transform a typically underutilized parking garage facade into a representation of the city.

A critical element of the design challenge was to create something highly complex and visually interesting while meeting a budget that would fit in the scope of the overall construction project. Only 3 part types are utilized to limit customized component count. Rotation, placement, and color provide all of the custom variation across the facade. Typically over-designed art projects are “value engineered” and simplified down to some version of the original design. We took a different approach, focusing on developing a system from the ground up that is simple to fabricate, install, and quote, while also accomplishing all of our conceptual goals right from the beginning.