This sculptural seating area called Sun Flowers plays with the scale of iconic California poppies to create a gathering space that is alive with gentle movement and light. The breeze spins the bronze petals, casting dynamic shadows over the textured concrete bench and built-in metal tables for dining al fresco. Solar panels inside the blossoms gather the sun’s energy during the day to illuminate the sculptures with energy-efficient LEDs at night. The flowers’ forms are reminiscent of umbrellas, subtly drawing comparisons between ordinary street scenes and organic shapes found in the natural world. This piece won highest honors from the S.F. American Institute of Architects for both Green Design and Urban Design, and also inspired a “parklet” movement around the Bay Area to make miniature parks out of a few parking spots.
Jeffrey Reed and Jennifer Madden are a Berkley-based, husband-and-wife team of sculptors with a metal shop in Richmond, CA. The award-winning artists’ backgrounds in architecture and landscape design are evident in the execution of over two dozen large-scale, sight-specific installations for outdoor public locations. Their sculptures often function as community gathering spaces, encouraging the visitors to spend a moment contemplating and enjoying how the artworks poetically incorporate natural elements of wind, water, and light.
“[Our] artwork is about creating the genius loci (spirit of the place) with elegant forms that tell a story about the uniqueness of the site.” Jennifer Madden & Jeffrey Reed
The theme of California poppies continues right around the corner from Sun Flowers in Mohamed Soumah’s mural, Under the Sun.