Our installation is a celebration of the dialogue or interplay between Waller Creek and its relationship to the vitality of Lady Bird Lake and the surrounding urban community. By utilizing the built environment of Waller Creek, we are drawing attention to the symbiosis that can manifest between man and nature when urban settings are designed with maximum consideration and respect for the natural resources and native species of the environment itself.
“Nimbus Cloud” resembles a rain cloud and is a reflection on the vitality of Waller Creek and the nature that surrounds it. Cumulonimbus and nimbostratus clouds produce precipitation. The creek acts as a watershed by collecting this precipitation from an area of 6 miles and meandering its way to Town Lake. ‘Nimbus Cloud’ signifies one of the primary sources of Waller Creek today. Using programmable LEDs installed within the sculpture, abstracted imagery collected from Waller Creek and the areas surrounding the watershed will be conveyed onto the cloud. The water beneath the sculpture will mirror this ephemeral phenomena, creating a parallel that reflects the relationship between the creek and the environment.
Autumn Ewalt, Dharmesh Patel
A 50’ diameter arch comprised of 10 curved segments of steel or aluminum 1’ C channels that will be bolted together. Small steel or aluminum coves will run along the inside of the flanges to serve as a trough for flexible linear LED lighting that is capable of changing colors and patterns. The interior web of the channels will be painted white to increase reflectivity. The arch will set on steel pedestals situated on the creek bottom beneath the shallow water. Lastly, guy wired will support the lateral and gravity loads of the arch.
Tim Derrington, Wilson Hanks
“Invisible and Absolute” is a sculpture of an extinct sea lizard called a mosasaur, commissioned specifically for Waller Creek Conservancy’s 2016 Creek Show. Mosasaurs swam through the shallow sea that covered Central Texas 100 –65 million years ago. In 1935, an almost complete skeleton was found in Onion Creek by UT geology students and is now on exhibit at the Texas Memorial Museum on the UT campus. When asked to create a piece for Creek Show, Jules Buck Jones immediately thought of this extinct animal swimming in the form of a skeleton, offering a little bit of history and the façade of fantasy. Extinct creatures like the mosasaur are simultaneously very real and very not, only present today in the form of fossilized bone. “Invisible and Absolute” asks the question: What is scarier? A 40’ monster or extinction itself?
The Creek Zipper is a series of interconnected units that form zipper-like strands. Each unit varies depending on the width of the strand creating a dynamic overall geometry that ebbs and flows much like the water level of the creek itself. Though the water level will stabilize once the Tunnel Project is complete, the level will still rise and drop within manageable limits. Each unit will be raised on adjustable pedestal so the flat bottom of the unit will coincide with the average water level. When the water level is below average, the water will pass below the strands and be only minimally affected by the legs that support the units. When the water level rises above average, the water will interact with the folded geometry of each unit causing a turbulent flow. The distortion of water as it rises reflects the devastation that used to occur during floods.
The Creek Zipper is an array of arrays. The project consists of a number of a strands that extend the length of the creek between the 6th Street Bridge and the 3 concrete steps that span the river between 6th and 7th Street. The strands are free-flowing and occasionally intersect and join one another to form larger strands. Each strand varies from the others, differing in length and width. The strands are made up of an array of CNC-milled aluminum units that connect to form the overall zipper. The units and strands are part of an assemblage that favors neither whole or part. The entire project, each strand, and each unit can be read as whole in and of itself, calling to question the hierarchical part/whole relationship that has traditionally dominated art and architecture for much of their histories. Though the strands and units are similar to each other and have the same generic properties, the specific geometry of each one is unique as a result of its association with the overall assemblage, it’s location on the site and how it joins with neighboring units.
Austin, Texas, was settled and built around rivers and creeks. Today, it is one of the fastest growing cities in the country. The resulting tension between the built and natural environment is epitomized by Waller Creek, which ﬂ ows through downtown Austin and eventually drains into Lady Bird Lake. Through the construction of the new storm water bypass tunnel, potential ﬂ oodwaters will be diverted underground which will allow for the enhancement of both human and ecological communities. The tunnel will allow for the formation of a riparian park that will allow for passive and active recreation as well as create a series of rain gardens and bioﬁ ltration devices that treat pollutants. While these constructions are decidedly man-made, they serve the ultimate goal of improving cultural and ecological health of the city.
Alisa West, Travis Cook