Water Sky Garden | Janet Echelman

3 June, 2010


Water Sky Garden at the Richmond Olympic Oval / Painted galvanized steel rings, TENARA® Architectural fiber, red painted cedar, water fountains / Image courtesy Janet Echelman, Inc. photo: Peter Vanderwarker

PROJECT Water Sky Garden
LOCATION
Richmond Olympic Oval, Vancouver, Canada
ARTIST Janet Echelman
COMPLETION June 2009

A public artwork commissioned for the 2010 Vancouver Olympic Winter Games has become a permanent art environment for the people of Richmond, Vancouver. Water Sky Garden by internationally acclaimed artist Janet Echelman was created to activate and reshape the urban airspace surrounding the Richmond Olympic Oval, official venue for the Winter Games speed-skating events.  Echelman is well known for her distinctive suspended sculptures that move fluidly with the wind; and this design encompasses not only suspended artwork but every part of the landscape, from the red-stained cedar boardwalks through to water purifying aerators and native plant life.

The collaborative artwork project creates a contemplative art environment that encourages visitors to linger, and simultaneously serves as a wetland treatment pond, providing storm water retention, water quality treatment, and water storage for irrigation use. Water-purifying aerators draw shapes with bubbles on the surface of a pond that collects runoff water from the Ovals’ 5-acre roof, while suspended net-forms undulate overhead in the wind, becoming sky-lanterns during nighttime illumination.

The site-specific concept responds to the local community, which has a high representation of immigrants of Asian descent, by using references such as the choreography of a Dragon Dance in the shape of the boardwalk; and the large scale suspended artwork relates symbolically with the local native Musqueam Band traditional net fishing practices. This project was managed by the City of Richmond Public Art Program and achieved through Echelman’s collaboration with a team of internationally award-winning architects, engineers, lighting and water consultants, landscape architects and fabricators.


Water Sky Garden at the Richmond Olympic Oval / Painted galvanized steel rings, TENARA® Architectural fiber, red painted cedar, water fountains / Image courtesy Janet Echelman, Inc. photo: Peter Vanderwarker


Water Sky Garden at the Richmond Olympic Oval / Painted galvanized steel rings, TENARA® Architectural fiber, red painted cedar, water fountains / Image courtesy Janet Echelman, Inc. photo: Peter Vanderwarker

DESIGN TEAM
Janet Echelman, artist
Hotson Bakker Boniface Haden, architects and urbanistes
Phillips Farevaag Smallenberg, landscape architecture
Fast + Epp, structural engineering
Buro Happold, net engineering
Peter Heppel Associates, aeronautical engineering
Speranza Architecture, consultant
Cole Brown Henry Consulting, public art consultants
Vince Helton and Associates, fountain mechanical
Joseph Scott, lighting design

More information: www.echelman.com

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