The Open Circle
ENVIRONMENTAL ARTWORK FOR THE BERKELEY MARINA
SITE SPECIFIC ENVIRONMENTAL SCULPTURAL ARTWORK FOR THE BERKELEY MARINA
Public Art contract awarded to Jeffrey Reed + Jennifer Madden
Completed Project Pictures:
The site of this project is at the extreme Northeast corner of the former landfill area known as the Cesar Chavez Park in the Berkeley Marina. The site is adjacent to a designated Protected Natural Area of the Park, and overlooks the San Francisco Bay, with the Albany Bulb and Richmond to the North, and Golden Gate Fields and the new Gilman Regional Sports Fields to the East. Refer to the map and photos of the site on the Civic Arts Public Art webpage (noted below) for the paved circular pathway and existing boulder to be incorporated into the installation.
Inspired by shoreline dunes and windswept forms, this earthform art piece echoes the colors and textures found in the sandstone shorelines of the Bay.
Low berms rise up along the east side of the main path. A 30 -34 high barrier, made from a combination of earth-like concrete walls, rocks and cables, separate man (as well as man s best friend) from the Western Owl s habitat from October through March. These low walls (backed with sloping clean earth) are made from environmentally friendly concrete, colored to blend in with the rocks and clay of the surrounding area. Between the undulating concrete walls is open cable fencing that spans the openings. In three places, where asphalt paths lead into the environmentally sensitive area, cable fences will pull back to allow access from April to October.
Seating and seven education plaques are placed within the 500+-foot fence/wall. Two destination seating areas are located at both ends of the enclosed area. A literal Open Circle at the southeastern corner of the habitat area will become the prime destination area for observing birds and nature. This seating area will have 30 linear feet of seating built into the retaining wall s spiral shape, as well as a large central rock for seating. At the northeastern corner will be 18 linear feet of seating and a path between where people can sit and look across to each other and the views beyond.
A 6 -wide ADA accessible path and landing into the Open Circle seating will be made out of colored concrete with gravel salt finish to blend into the colored and artistic walls.
Open Circle Attributes:
- Creates a buffer for the Burrowing Owl habitat
- Creates an educational walking tour
- Allows views through to the water
- Is made with environmentally low-impact concrete
- Creates three destination areas for viewing the habitat and wildlife
- Creates an open circle outdoor classroom where large groups can meet
- Improves the overall appearance of the Marina walk
This public art project was made possible by the generous grant from the Open Circle Foundation. The unique site is also the part-time home of the burrowing owl and this project is in special communication with the Audubon Society.
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