reform, llc was invited along with artist, Robert Kent Wilson to develop a permanent installation for a series of underpasses that currently divide two rapidly developing sections of Washington, DC. The competition, held by the NoMa Parks Foundation sought to create an installation or series of installations that would produce a destination for the neighborhood, enhance the lighting and experience within the underpasses both during the day as well as at night and provide a visual link between the two sides of the neighborhood.
Our proposal attempted to highlight the positive attributes of the underpasses and to create an interactive experience that would change each time a pedestrian moved through the spaces. We created a series of folded, painted, metal panels which would be suspended in a frame between the existing steel columns of the underpass. Depending on the length and configuration of each underpass, the panels would provide visual access across the lanes of traffic in certain locations and deny visual access in others. In order to tie the two sides of the underpass together, the panels were strategically colored in a gradient pattern which would produce a seamless transition between East and West.
We sought to utilize the vehicular traffic through the underpasses as a way to create an interactive acoustical and visual experience for the pedestrian. The vehicle headlights would reflect off the panels and depending on the speed of the vehicle, produce a layered effect over the colored gradient pattern. Although the panels themselves would remain static, their strategic placement would produce a dynamic, sensory experience for the pedestrian, cyclist and driver alike.