150417_EDMONTON_ARENA_RENDER_4_FORNES_S 2015 | Edmonton Arena | Public Art

Design & computation: MARC FORNES & THEVERYMANY

In cooperation with the Edmonton Arts Council, our design strategy for a unique artwork will be a positive addition to the Arena District and an outstanding example of 21st-century Public Art which serves, inspires and vibrates with its community, while further expanding the remarkable legacy of the Council throughout the city, the country and the world at large. We are particularly interested and appreciate the opportunity to take on a project which challenges us to engage the public realm on a denser urban environment. Opposite to piece in a park or an isolated destination, a piece which sits at the core of the urban tissue of a city must perform more as a catalyst for social interaction and communication, both between the art piece and between the citizens and visitors themselves, it needs to become a relevant addition to the operation and identity of the complete Downtown core. It is not enough to be a reference, a project in such a position must enhance and enliven the urban qualities of the Downtown Edmonton area, directly linking the plaza and the arena to its urban surroundings and rooting it in its community and collective culture.

The specific site location offers a unique opportunity for a major public art piece of this kind to take advantage of the characteristics and special conditions of it. The space has an inherent potential to reach a higher audience, not only visitors of the venue, but catching the attention of a much larger public. Immersed within a constant fl ow of pedestrians and public transport, both local and foreign, the piece will stand out as a delightful opportunity for interaction and will become a representative icon for the promenade and Downtown Core. To create a place as a starting-point, and adapting a one-of-a-kind process to the goal, the project ends in the creation of a new symbol of identity, both visual and functional. We address the site-specific needs through the specific design, using materials and forms as key factors in creating a bold display. A concrete bench is proposed as an element to enhance urban design integration and intensify use. This complements and contrasts with the smooth and ever-shining outer surface which brings a sense of playfulness to the piece.