Art In Architecture in the SF Bay Area

Written on March 23, 2021

Now, during this pandemic, public art is more important than ever, offering a place and experience that can add to everyday life, provide a moment of respite, and help rebuild social capital.

Several developers and civic entities in the Bay Area recognize this and have recently incorporated site-specific public art, designed and fabricated by Gordon Huether, into their commercial real estate projects in order to create engaging communal spaces and elevate everyday experiences.

“While each of these installations have their own local and site-specific objectives, I hope they add to the tremendous Bay Area tradition of public art, and provide inspiration, healing or simple enjoyment.” states Huether. Read on to learn more about each project.

Sunnyvale Parking Garage Art Screen

Lane-Partners, a commercial real estate company based in Menlo Park, CA, commissioned Gordon Huether to create a substantial art screen for their 520 Almanor Ave project in Sunnyvale, CA. Made up of 300 laser-cut aluminum panels, the art screen clads the parking structure in a repetitive Redwood Tree pattern, referencing the local landscape and the coastal redwood tree indigenous to the area. The laser cut areas of the panels serve dual purpose by providing ventilation for vehicular traffic within the parking structure while also creating interesting light patterns projected onto adjacent surfaces from percolating sunlight throughout the day – elevating this otherwise everyday experience inside the parking structure.

“Aperture” at Stanford Research Park

Gordon’s creative objectives for the two-part sculpture installation Aperture, commissioned by Sand Hill Property Company, were multifold. His first objective was to create an installation that was fully integrated into a relatively complex landscape plan. Through its multi-layered and angled wedge shape, Aperture appears to emerge organically from the landscape. In addition, the form of the work acts as an introduction to and complements the angled planes of the site’s architecture. His second objective was to create a sculptural installation that actively engages the cyclists, pedestrians and motorists who will experience the work on a daily basis and consider the movement and speeds at which they will view the work. Aperture has depth, size and complexity of design that will elicit an enduring interest and excitement.

“Big Love” at the San Mateo County Animal Shelter

The County of San Mateo commissioned Gordon Huether to design, fabricate, and install an art installation that would greet visitors and employees of the new San Mateo County Animal Shelter. Gordon’s installation, titled Big Love, features a 6-foot-high x 8-foot-long dog and heart sculpture made of painted composite materials. Inspired by the compassion of the individuals who adopt lost and homeless animals, as well as by the love and joy a rescued pet brings to their new household, Gordon’s literal representation of a “big heart” adds a layer of humanity and warmth to the shelter’s environment.  Big Love welcomes guests immediately by putting a smile on their faces while reinforcing the identity, purpose, and values of the San Mateo County Animal Shelter.

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How Art Contributes to a Commercial Real Estate Project:

“Hubcaps” at Redwood City Parking Garage

Commissioned by the County of San Mateo is Gordon’s Hubcap installation, which will be located outside of a new parking structure in Redwood City. The parking structure will support current and future needs for the new County Office Building #3 that is being constructed as part of a massive project to improve government services and facilities for both residents and employees of San Mateo County. Hubcaps brings a sense of whimsy and creates a welcoming entrance for users of this facility.

“Silver Lantern” and “Spectorium” in Sunnyvale

In the heart of Silicon Valley, Gordon has concepted two gateway art installations for the Jay Paul Company real estate firm. Silver Lantern will be located at the new Mathilda Commons corporate campus in Sunnyvale, CA. While Spectorium will be installed outside a new office complex at 465 North Mary, also in Sunnyvale, CA. Each installation was designed to interact with the eye-catching architecture of the new facilities and will create a dynamic and stimulating environment for staff and visitors of the site.