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Trees Pushing Through Plaza Pavement
Location: University of Wisconsin-Madison
Date: 1972
Materials: Foliage, reinforced paving
 

​​Nature--fully absent in this plaza--pushes through the paving material, suggesting the transcency of the built environment while providing some relief in the form of humor, fantasy, and foliage.

Floating Roof
Location:  Best Products, Inc, Richmond, Va
Date: 1970
Materials: Brick, aluminum space frame
 
This retail appliance center was a dull rectangular brick building facing the Midlothian Turnpike and surrounded by an asphalt parking lot.  The suspension of a floating "roof" supported by an internal space frame transformed a mundane site into a subtle and surreal visual fantasy: a building in the process of deconstructing.
Peeling Project

Location: Best Products, Inc, Richmond, Va

Date: 1970-73

Materials: Brick, Sarabond mortar, steel plate and ribbing

 
This retail appliance center was a dull rectangular brick building facing the Midlothian Turnpike and surrounded by an asphalt parking lot. The careful superimposition of a “peeling” facade--made to appear an intrinsic part of the structure--transformed a mundane site into a visual phenomenon based on ambiguity and fantasy. The deconstructed building served as both political commentary and critique of the economic underpinnings and rectilinear forms of the International Style.
 
 


 

Projects created while Co-Director of SITE, Inc., 1969-73

 

 

Location: Fallen Leaf Lake, Nevada

Date: 1968

Materials: Glass and stainless steel

 

This all-glass passageway crosses a 300-ft length of Fallen Leaf Lake in the hills of Nevada.  It explores one aspect of the "latent potential" of our environment by allowing the solitary visitor the opportunity to experience, at her own pace, a gradual descent via two glass stairways into a completely transparent and submerged chamber within a clear mountain lake.  Here, surrounded by the waters and life forms of the underlake environment, it is intended that the visitor experience a calm and reflective atmosphere totally divorced from the usual hectic pace of daily experience.

Model for an Underlake Environment

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Wooden Waves

Location: Binghamton, NY, State St, behind old City Hall

Sponsor: Valley Development Foundation

Date: 1972

Materials: Wooden beams (4"X14"X20 ft)

The riverfront character of the old town was vanishing in the face of new high-rise development, part of a massive urban renewal effort. This proposal called for construction of large wooden waves resembling a curving boardwalk or dock and intended to recall the proximity of the riverfront.

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Floating Boardwalk

Location: Binghamton, NY, State St, behind old City Hall

Sponsor: Valley Development Foundation

Date: 1972

Materials: Wooden beams (4" X 14" X 20 ft)

The riverfront character of this town was vanishing in the face of new high-rise development, part of a massive urban renewal effort.  This concept of suspended wooden platforms provides open space and a sense of levity and simplicity to a site surrounded by tall, heavy buildings, visually complicated and unrelated to one another. The "boardwalk" --partly supported by steel cables suggesting boats and docks--picks up on the theme of the river, which is only two blocks away.

           Glass Jetty                 Location: Oceanfront                Date:  1968

This sculpture is a hollow glass "jetty" into the ocean. Its purpose is to enable the viewer inside the jetty to enjoy the experience of being surrounded by waves.

Glass Bridge Between Buildings

Location: Glass skyscrapers at 50th St and Park Ave, Manhattan

Date: 1969

This sculpture, an all-glass bridge between office buildings in midtown Manhattan, allows the participant both a physical and visual escape from the anonymous workplace environment. Being totally transparent, it is also intended to invoke the fantasy of walking on air.

Tinted-Glass Cylinder Bridge Between Buildings

Location:  MIdtown Manhattan

Date: 1970

Tinted-Glass Panel Project

Location: Best Products, Inc, Richmond, Va

Date: 1970

Materials: Tinted-glass panels,

reinforced  white panels, paint

 

This retaiil appliance center was a dull, rectangular brick building facing the Midlothian Turnpike and surrounded by an asphalt parking lot.  In this proposal, the customer is suffused in natural  light filtered through tinted-glass panels, providing a moment of tranquility on entering and exiting the store. 

 

This sculpture, an all-glass bridge between office buildings in midtown Manhattan, alllows the participant both a visual and physical escape from the anonymous workplace environment. While crossing the bridge, the participant is suffused in natural light filtered through tinted glass, intended to provide a tranquil moment in contrast to the usual hectic pace of city life. In addition, the transparent floor creates the illusion of walking on air.

Tinted-Glass Subway Project

Location: NYC subway platform

Date: 1969

Materials: Tinted glass and iron grating

 

 A hole cut in the ceiling of a NYC subway platform is filled with tinted glass supported by iron grating,  Passengers beneath it are bathed in natural light filtered through the glass, creating a temporary sanctuary in the midst of the hectic pace of city life.

Glass Bridge Between Mountains

Date: 1968-69

This sculpture is a bridge between mountains.  Since it is made of glass, the participant crossing the bridge should experience the sensation of walking on air.

In addition, as the participant moves from the darkness of the tunnel to the blast of light on the bridge, her experience may echo that of St Francis as he exits the darkness of his cave in Bellini's masterpiece. 

 

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Curving Parking Lot

Location: Peekskill, NY

Date: 1970

A series of large curves sweeps through Peekskill, including this parking lot.

Tree Observatory

Location: Parklands or waterfront

Date: 1971

Materials: Wrought iron

 

 

This proposal calls for the construction of two sets of wrought-iron stairs and platforms encircling a large tree. The purpose is to allow the visitor the opportunity to experience the tree from a different perspective and to afford a better view of the surroundings.

     Floor Holes                       Material:  Glass panels                        Date: 1969

Square or rectangular holes cut into successive floors in a midtown Manhattan office building and replaced with glass flooring or panels allow the participant--standing on one of the panels--to see through all floors of the building and to experience the sensation of standing on air.

Floating Facade

Location: Best Products, Inc, Richmond,Va

Date: 1970

Materials:  Brick, Sarabond mortar, steel plate and ribbing

This retail appliance center was a dull, rectangular brick building facing the Midlothian Turnpike and surrounded by an asphalt parking lot. The careful superimposition of a floating "facade"--made to appear an intrinsic part of the structure--transforms a mundane site into a visual phenomenon based on ambiguity and fantasy.

Projects created from 1987 to1992

Stream

Location: Municipal Services Building (MSB) Plaza, center-city Philadelphia

Date: 1992

Materials: Reinforced concrete, ceramic tile or granite, foliage

 

The MSB Plaza was a very large, open space with no function.  It was surrounded by the built environment, with roads or highways on all four sides.  This proposal called for the construction of a tile or granite "stream" emptying into one or more larger bodies of "water" surrounded by (actual) trees and foliage.  The "Stream"  provides a strong reference to nature and organic form, badly needed in this plaza.  In addition, the built-in flexibility of the stream form allows for design-stage changes to accommodate new requirements or constraints.

       This concept transforms a dull and humorless space into one that engages the imagination--which all cities should do.  At the same time, it preserves the wide-open feeling of the plaza--a plus in any city--while providing plenty of seating and shade for relaxation and reflection.

 

 

Mountain Bursting Through Plaza Pavement

Location: Manhattan plaza

Date: 1988

Materials: Cast metal, earth, rock, paving material

This proposal calls for construction of a cast-metal big-horn sheep on a mountaintop that appears to be bursting through the pavement of a Manhattan plaza.  Through humor and fantasy, the project is intended to provide a relaxing break from the usual frenzied pace of city life while underscoring the transcency of our built environment.

Seal Pool

Location: Manhattan plaza or waterfront

Date: 1988

Materials: Cast metal and concrete (or other paving material)

This proposal calls for construction of cast-metal seals swimming in a pool that appears to have burst through the pavement of a Manhattan plaza. Through humor and fantasy, the Seal Pool is intended to provide a relaxing break from the usual frenzied pace of city life.

Tree Pool

Location: Manhattan plaza or waterfront

Date: 1988

Material:  Cast metal (or reinforced paving material)

 

This proposal calls for the construction of a large, flat "tree" that appears to have emerged from the pavement of a Manhattan plaza, revealing a pool of water beneath the surface.  Through humor and fantasy, the Tree Pool is intended to provide a relaxing break from the usual frenzied pace of city life.

Rainbow of Childrens' Handprints

Location: Facade of public elementary school, NYC

Date: 1988

Materials: Ceramic tiles, glazed and fired

This relatively inexpensive proposal is intended to dress up the drab facades of many of our public elementary schools in a way that would appeal to children.  With an eye to making it more inviting and less intimidating, the entrance is adorned with a "rainbow" of numerous colorful tiles, each containing an individual child's handprint.

Pedestrian "Mountain" Bridge (With Trees) Over Highway

Location: Manhattan West Side Waterfront

Date: 1988

Materials: Iron rods and fencing

New York City's west side waterfront property is being developed.  These plans include construction of riverfront parks and other amenities bounded by a six-lane highway, from Battery Park City up to 44th Street.  This proposal calls for the construction of an elevated pedestrian walkway (or bridge) across the highway to facilitate access to the waterfront.

The walls of the walkway would be constructed of iron fencing and rods welded to resemble mountains and trees.

© 2014 Cynthia Eardley

Scale model, 1968