December 11, 2011

Pennington Street Garage, Tucson. March, 2011

OK, what is this? Among the many public art projects that my friend Simon has devised in and around his hometown of Tucson are these panels to enhance a downtown parking garage. Charged with retaining the natural light of the garage’s open spaces, with designing something that would look good in both daylight and at night, and with keeping the materials’ budget as low as possible, here’s what he came up with: diagonal panels that zig-zag across the openings on each level, made from two perforated sheets of aluminum sandwiched together with blue and golden marble in between. Sunlight reflects off of them and also shines through them, bringing a watery shimmer into the garage. At night, lights inside the garage provide the opposite effect, illuminating the panels from within. When I showed this project to my friend Ted on his recent visit to Tucson, he wondered, “How do people come up with great ideas like this?” Ask Simon.

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