Exhale (Public Plaza) by Mikyoung Kim
2017 - 2018, Platinum A' Landscape Planning and Garden Design Award Winner
The concept of the Exhale sculpture is to help manage stormwater collection through a sculptural fountain that disperses and evaporates rainwater, highlighting the natural hydrologic cycles of the site. The sculpture encourages participants to move around the varying elements and view the mutating condition of the piece during the various seasons and times of day. The unique paving pattern, inspired by wind movement pattern diagrams, emanates from the mist fountain at the core of the plaza.
Located in the heart of downtown Chapel Hill, the 140 West Urban Plaza is the first project in a larger town masterplan to invigorate this college town with greater pedestrian oriented landscapes. Framed by mixed-use development, the plaza is anchored by a dynamic sculpture that utilizes mist and color to define arterial pedestrian connections and encourage multi-generational engagement. This restorative project celebrates the hydrological cycles of the environment.
Design Challenges
The fabrication of the custom perforated metal panels were a challenge- we worked closely with the fabricator to create an integrated structural solution that allowed for easier installation on site and fabrication in the shop.
Production Technology
The choreography of LED lighting was designed into the project, creating a transformative experience of color as it moves from one end of the sculpture and back. The mist and light move in tandem, filling the stainless-steel cocoon. The sculpture is a custom folded and layered perforated metal skin that allows for fog to emanate through the textured surfaces, creating the transformative moment of hydrology from liquid to a gas, cooling the ambient temperature as it evaporates into the air.
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