A NoMa underpass’s transformation from a dark, shadowy place to a light-filled art park has begun.
Construction crews on Monday started work that will give the neighborhood’s M Street NE passageway under the train tracks “countless points of light raining down from its ceiling,” according to the NoMa Parks Foundation.
The installation, known as “Rain,” will get its shower effect from light-emitting diode (LED) lights inside hundreds of polycarbonate tubes.
“The interior of the M Street underpass will look like a gentle rain with subtle moving lights — and its dark ceiling will turn into a glowing field of light that moves and flows as people move through the space,” the parks foundation says on its website.
Thurlow Small Architecture and NIO architects unveiled their plans for the project in April 2015. But it wasn’t immediately clear when “Rain” will make its debut.
A representative of the parks foundation wasn’t immediately available to comment.
During construction, M Street will remain open to car traffic between 1st and 2nd streets NE. But pedestrians will have access to only one sidewalk there.
The M Street underpass is the first such passageway in NoMa to receive an art installation. The parks foundation is planning to bring art to the underpasses at K and L streets NE, as well as Florida Avenue NE, in the future.
Image via NoMa Business Improvement District
The Golden Triangle BID and the D.C. Commission on the Arts and Humanities are looking for artists or design teams to create a permanent work of public art to be installed on the 2100 block of K Street NW, where K Street emerges from beneath Washington Circle.
Under the plan, which is dubbed the “K Street Gateway Project,” artists would have $480,000 to “create something appealing for all the people who live and work here,” executive director Leona Agouridis said.
The winning design would reflect the vibrancy of the neighborhood, according to a project overview. Other project goals include producing a “modern aesthetic,” creating something to “soften” or “humanize” the area and making the stretch of road “safe for pedestrian and vehicular traffic.”
Design teams are expected to be chosen this September and the art installation is scheduled to be completed by fall of next year.
Photo via Google Street View
An intersection downtown will soon look a little more artistic.
Workers will install four new wooden sculptures in the small “rain gardens” on all four corners of 19th and L Streets NW this Friday and Saturday, announced the Golden Triangle BID this morning
Local artist Foon Sham will officially unveil his new wooden sculptures at 19th and L streets NW next Friday at noon. The temporary works of art were constructed from 3,700 pieces of wood and made to look like water-collecting vessels.
More information from the Golden Triangle BID press release:
“The sculptures bring natural elements to an unexpected place. They complement the function of the rain garden and contrast the busy urban intersection,” said Sham.
“Thousands of people walk by this busy intersection on a daily basis; we wanted to catch their eye with this unexpected art so they will take a moment to stop and enjoy the beautiful space. This project supports our greater goal to add visual diversity and interest to the public realm,” explains Executive Director Leona Agouridis.
The four rain gardens at 19th and L streets NW can filter tens of thousands of gallons of runoff annually by capturing rainfall and controlling the storm water overflow. They were built by the Golden Triangle BID in partnership with the District Department of Energy & Environment, with funding from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s 319 Program.
The new sculptures are not the first public art pieces in the Golden Triangle; the BID continuously adds color and texture throughout the neighborhood. Past projects include artistic lights along the Connecticut Avenue Median, art on the walls of the entrances to the Farragut North and Farragut West Metro stations, six artistic bike racks throughout the neighborhood, and most recently, light art at Murrow and Monroe Parks.
Renderings courtesy of Golden Triangle BID
(Corrected at 2:34 p.m.) The intersection of 19th and L streets NW might soon look a little more artistic.
Golden Triangle BID says it seeks to install some new temporary sculptures meant to compliment the rain gardens that already occupy the small park at the intersection.
“We live in one of the most beautiful cities in the world,” Golden Triangle BID Executive Director Leona Agouridis said. “The sculptures will take a spot that is already gorgeous and make it even better yet.”
“Since the sculptures will require a foundation to attach to, we are applying for a permit for those foundations,” adds Agouridis. “We are working with a local curator to identify artists and sculptures with the idea that we would install new pieces every 6-12 months.”
Agouridis says she expects the request to build the foundations to be approved by the District Department of Transportation some time between late summer and early fall.
Photo courtesy of Golden Triangle BID
“How do you feel about the graffiti in your neighborhood? Is there a place for it in DC? What is your impression of the people who illegally tag? How would you like to see graffiti handled? Join MuralsDC as it launches its 2011 program with a look at the culture of graffiti and discussion with people involved on all sides-former taggers, artists, agencies who clean graffiti, and those who fund public art. Help us achieve a better understanding of graffiti and what we can do to achieve solutions that LAST.”
- What: MuralsDC Panel Discussion on Graffiti
- When: Tuesday, July 26, 6 to 8 pm
- Where: Busboys & Poets, 2021 14th Street NW – Langston Room
- Info: Contact Nancee Lyons, DC Department of Public Works, at [email protected] with questions/comments.