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Ribbons

U.S. General Administration, Pacific Rim Headquarters

San Francisco, California

2013

Ribbons
2013 Cast Concrete, Granite

2013
Cast Concrete, Granite

2013 Cast Concrete, Granite

2013
Cast Concrete, Granite

2013 Cast Concrete, Granite

2013
Cast Concrete, Granite

2013 Cast Concrete, Granite

2013
Cast Concrete, Granite

2013 Cast Concrete, Granite

2013
Cast Concrete, Granite

2013 Cast Concrete, Granite

2013
Cast Concrete, Granite

2013 Cast Concrete, Granite

2013
Cast Concrete, Granite

2013 Cast Concrete, Granite

2013
Cast Concrete, Granite

2013 Cast Concrete, Granite

2013
Cast Concrete, Granite

Description

Ribbons is a landscape sculpture in the open-air courtyard of 50 UN Plaza. As the centerpiece of the historic renovation, it balances contemporary sculpture and sustainable strategies within the building’s historic fabric. Ribbons responds the hierarchy of the Beaux-Arts architecture with a powerful horizontal arrangement of sculptures made from cast, recycled concrete and carved granite fountains. Rising from paving ribbons, the sculptures form a rhythmic circulation system of permeable decomposed granite paving within a grove of white birch. The sculptures rising, twisting and falling on the woven ribbons of paving loosely reflect the twists of a ribbon. In the midst of the Beaux-Arts decorative architectural traditions that they reference, the sculptures are a singular and significant response to the architecture. The vertical movement of a grid of Himalayan White Birch counters the horizontal emphasis of the sculptures. A pallet of native coral bell and fern define linear planting beds beneath the understory forest of birch. Weather-based irrigation saves 40% of normal water use. Two carved granite fountains anchor the long axis of the courtyard, providing the subtle sound of water flowing over their polished surfaces.

Description 2

There are three to four different surface textures, from polished to sandblasted on the sides of each sculpture that help register the twisting motion on the form. A recycled concrete mix was developed with additions of dolomite in order to achieve a material that could hold its own integrity alongside the white brick and grey granite of the building. The fabrication system developed for the concrete sculptures allowed the project to achieve a maximum effect for a minimum budget by working with a system of interchangeable and repeatable parts, which limited the cost and number of molds. Ribbons is the social heart of 50 UN Plaza serving as its central gathering space, enhancing the collaborative atmosphere of the modern workplace.

Information

info 1

Photo Credit Jeremy Green

Location
50 UN Plaza, San Francisco, CA

Date
2013

Medium
Cast Concrete, Granite

Dimensions
Plaza - 21,840 Sq Ft

Commissioned by
General Services Administration, Art in Architecture Program

Engineer
Patrell Engineering

Subcontractor
Quick Crete

Photography 
Jeremy Green
www.jeremygreen.com