Project name: As If It Were Already Here
Project overview: Echelman’s monumental aerial sculpture was suspended over Boston’s Rose Kennedy Greenway, spanning the void where an elevated highway once split downtown from its waterfront and knitting together the urban fabric. Made from an interconnected fiber mesh of more than a half-million nodes of soft twine, it fluidly responds to ever-changing wind and weather. Monumental in scale and strength, yet delicate as lace, its fibers are 15 times stronger than steel yet incredibly lightweight, making the sculpture able to lace directly into three skyscrapers as a soft counterpoint to hard-edged architecture. It is a physical manifestation of interconnectedness and strength through resiliency.
Project location: Boston, Massachusetts
Firm name: Studio Echelman
Jury comments: Arguably one of Boston’s most memorable and lofty art pieces, the installation powerfully narrates the story of Boston via its references to tri-mountain, mariners knots, the highway and car culture, and the city’s prominent public spaces. The project made us look up, captured our attention and moved us in the way a city moves us – both as a part of the fabric and a moment of wonder in our everyday lives. This finely-crafted art installation involved a confluence of aerospace engineering, design computation, and urban design and surpasses the structural complexity we see in many architectural and engineering structures. The fluidity and ephemerality leaves plenty of room for the visitors’ imagination – and certainly, room for recognition from the jury.
Client: The Rose Kennedy Greenway Conservancy
Consultants: Arup; Autodesk; Shawmut Design & Construction
Images/Photographer(s): Bruce Petschek; Melissa Henry