Transit/Urban/Garden - Transit

Project

Valley Transit

2003

Phoenix, AZ

Artwork Budget: $350,000

 

Project Team

ARTIST

Robin Brailsford
 

CLIENT

Janet Walden
Phoenix Public Art Commission

 

INDUSTRY RESOURCE

Brian Thomas
Thomas Marine

 

LANDSCAPE ARCHITECT

Janet Waibel
Waibel Landscape Architects

 

Overview

PHOENIX ARTS COMMISSION, City of Phoenix, AZ. The 12 bus bay, Ed Pastor Transit Mall was a collaboration between myself as Lead Artist and DEA Planners and Engineers and Durant Architects. My artwork transit/urban/garden considers 10 million years of the site's natural and agricultural history and includes fountains, a Lithocrete 'river', and a 545' x 30' x 18' canopy. $3.5 million construction budget. Dedicated 2/22/03.

 

Goals

As the artist, I was very concerned about the message of water usage and desert depletion due to agriculture, based on the varying groups of immigrants to the Salt River Valley - from Native groups 10,000 years ago, to Pioneers 200 years ago, to Japanese rose farmers, 100 years ago, to suburbia in this century and the last. Many of the ideas survived in skeletal form only - arcs of green Lithocrete las=cking text,, the 1000' long Lithocrete river was fully realized, the 575-foot long monsoon channeling and shade reducing canopy for all 12 bus stops throughout the site were intended to be a living, green roof.

 

Process

As with most of my projects, the project came to me in a "flash," in one long, sleepless 8 hour night. Everything from the entire site layout, to the roof to the shade to the Pima basketry runoff basin and waterfall feature. The collaboration with the landscape architect, Janet Waibel was especially fruitful. While ideas of the roof being green or the north market wall to be painted Frida Kahlo, Cuyacon blue turned out to be ahead of their time for the client, efforts are again underway to include calendrical, lyrical phrasing about time and agriculture, into the ground plane as originally planned, via new transit funding. This funding will come in the form of streetcar access to the south end of the site, adding lots of good pedestrian activity and funneling new interest into the site. All good things come to those who wait, right?

 

Additional Info

I think it is the best Lithocrete ever done - to this day. This project led to my invention of LithoMosaics. Also: the project was deemed such a success, that it was renamed, with great celebration at the last minute, as a fitting tribute to a favorite US Senator, Ed Pastor, So it is the Ed Pastor Transit Mall.

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