COLLABORATION / Chrissie Orr
Caminar con Luz / Walk with Light
Light/Luz is the essential ingredient of the artwork for the St Francis Drive underpass. Chrissie and Laurie responded to community input to create a spacious light filled passage way that would feel safe and inviting any time of day or night. They worked as a team drawing and redrawing shapes of the interior space until they settled on an asymmetrical “Fibbonacci” spiral. The illuminated rib concept emerged as a means to achieve both the spiral opening and lantern effect. Each rib consists of a steel frame with a backlit translucent panel.
"We celebrate light pouring in through the median skylight with a flash of intense cobalt blue and dozens of light icicles suspended in the central atrium space. Rain is invited to enter through the median opening and flow into the stone lined acequia that runs through the tunnel. The median space is one for reflection and pausing as we bring back the connectivity of our community.”
Steel bird shapes along the walls refer directly to St. Francis of Assisi. After all, the underpass runs beneath St. Francis Drive and, the is the patron saint of Santa Fe, known for his compassion, love of all animals and natural elements. St Francis is often portrayed with birds, helping those in need or walking through the rain.
Other elements were included with the New Mexico School of the Deaf in mind. Polished metal plates secured to the ribs that serve as reflectors for light as well as mirrors so those passing through can see what’s behind them.
Let’s now walk or bike or run or roll with the light……