Story

Collaborating With Artists and Artisans To Create An Immersive Experience

Focus Area Art and Experience

Site specific, commissioned artwork has the power to transform public spaces into dynamic experiences

As the design of public spaces becomes increasingly more attuned to the user experience, site specific artwork that shapes the storytelling process can deepen the resonance on all of the senses. Significant works inextricably linked to their site create new ways to engage a space at entry points, important circulation paths and intersections.

By identifying and working directly with artists to help them understand the project’s goals and background of the design, our teams create a space’s story. Collaborating with artists on a specific moment in a user’s experience creates a new way of looking and seeing.

The potential for storytelling is boundless. What is critical to us is the creation of a shared narrative with the artist. Early in our conversations, we discuss what we want our visitors to see, feel, hear and remember about the work. We think about what we want to resonate and what we want a visitor to take with them in their memory as they reflect on the space.

The origin stories of these works come from many places. Some are tactile themes of exploration of place, geography, water, and land shaped by time. Other themes are more universal; family, cultural connection and community. For us, any story that is told with these significant works must be finely tuned and leave such an impact that the location can no longer be imagined without the work.

Services

  • Architecture
  • Branding / Graphics
  • Building Sciences
  • Commissioning
  • Engineering
  • Interiors
  • Strategies / Analytics

Strengthening diversity in our community through art

It was critically important to the client that their luxury residential highrise Fountain Place Residences reflect the diversity and artistic strength of Dallas. We invited Chinese artist Beili Liu to create a floating sculpture that provides unexpected interest at a circulation point in the main lobby. The installation consists of hundreds of semi‐circular, laser‐cut Lucite acrylic discs delicately etched with fine concentric rings.

Suspended between the floor and ceiling using vertical threads of stainless‐steel cable, the piece invokes the interconnected relationships and intricate balance among diverse individuals within our society. The bold, brilliant red composition alludes to the powerful force that emerges when we come together to form an inclusive, energetic, and ever‐evolving community.

One artist, two very different spaces

International sculptor Margo Sawyer’s work is dedicated to the reverence of color and form. When we designed the architecture of an urban park, we turned to Margo to transform the stair structure that brings visitors from underground to the park level. Her boxes are vibrantly colored to provide a collective contrast to the greenery of the park and are one of the most popular spots for photography. Her work was so transformative and well received, we again reached out to commission additional pieces for a luxury residence in Santa Fe.

© Margot Sawyer
© Robert Reck

Sawyer’s “art volumes” are coated with a variety of paint types to both reflect and receive light and color. The dichroic coating on many of the boxes is also used on drilling platforms in the Gulf of Mexico. The formula allows for the color to shift as one moves throughout the space, providing a dynamic experience. As at Discovery Green, these grounded volumes at once frame views, create rooms within rooms and activate the larger spaces with their delightfully unexpected color and movement.

Using art to remind of nature’s healing powers

© Slyworks Photography
  • When Houston Methodist planned another system hospital in The Woodlands, a master-planned community, we tapped local sculptor Edd Hayes to create three supersize bronze herons that would welcome visitors as they drove or walked up. Herons are native to the region and the sculptures remind visitors The Woodlands is focused on connections with nature.

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