Urban Flowers was a proposal for the Austin Art in public places program to create artistic bollards along the revitalized 2nd Street District streetscape.
They are designed as bollard sleeves that are to be a replicable object that allows for the flexibility in deployment to define districts along streets, cluster to create focal points and provide shaded gathering space in downtown Austin.
The design purposefully sets up two different readings based on point of view. From the sidewalk or street form is abstract in definition. As seen from above, the form is a flower along the street.
The proposed assembly is limited to a few basic elements - a bollard ,a shielded light, the structural ribs and the perforated skin. The design takes advantage of complying with the diameter restrictions through TAS required accessibility clearances. Once above the 80” clearance the sculpture flares to give the piece is character and performative aspects. Regarding impact strength, regardless of orientation the clustering of structural steel ribs create a strong impact and damage resistant column.
In the evening hours, when the lights are turned on, the reading of the design changes. While the outside surfaces darken in the lower light condition, the light source casts light through the perforated panels to project light patterns on the adjacent ground. The upper portion of the sculpture, in the lower light conditions, also begin to take on the appearance of a bat in flight in reference to the nearby habitat.