Location: Oak Knoll Creekside Entry Park, Oakland, CA
The finalist proposal for a public artwork is situated in a park within a new community developed on a former Naval hospital. As part of the design process, interviews were conducted with former veterans, all of whom emphasized the importance of the connections they made while working at the Oakland Naval Hospital. Inspired by these interviews, the artwork aims to trace new connections between people and place. The artwork is comprised of three concentric elements that become more “solid” as one moves towards the center. Twenty steel poles define the outer circle that invites people to enter and move through. The poles are connected through a network of cables that creates a canopy. The ropes span from pole to pole, forming a circular opening in the middle, through which one of the many California oak trees on the site can grow through. Over time, the tree’s canopy will grow larger, creating an interesting relationship between the branches and the cables. Seating elements surround the tree, creating an embracing space that fosters both communal gatherings and quiet reflection.