Arco de Luna by Steephollow Forgeworks
The Downtown Bryan Association and the Arts Council of Brazos Valley have formed a partnership with the City of Bryan to secure the use of a semi-permanent site for the construction of a multi-use community art installation. Designed by local architects LaurelHouse Studio, ArtFill grew out of discussions about the future of Downtown Bryan’s North end. The anticipated setting for a large mixed-use development, the North End currently sits largely vacant after 7 city blocks of dilapidated railroad warehouses were razed in 2010. With updated infrastructure–newly paved roads, street lights, utilities, high-speed communications–the area is ripe for infill redevelopment. However, until plans are finalized and development takes its course, the heart of Bryan has incurred a temporary void.
ArtFill is a contemporary art installation designed to fill that temporary void with an artistic intervention via community interactivity.
ArtFill is a collaborative design project, renewed each year with a new design infilled within the structural frame by students from Texas A&M University and local artists.
ArtFill is a community work of art, which the local community is invited to participate in and enjoy.
Installation by Texas A&M ARCH 206
The ArtFill project was designed to make use of the both the physical location and local culture and heritage to engage visitors to areas of downtown not yet benefiting from development investment. In designing the framework for the installations, the team considered aspects of the site and the structure itself.
Part I: Site
Located at the 700 block of N. Main Street, the concept for this project is to activate a blank urban landscape, and rekindle the spirit of community productivity and innovation that existed around the original railroad stops. The Downtown Bryan Association aims not only to activate this unique void in the urban landscape, but to create an anchoring cultural piece for the North End of Downtown that engages the contemporary audience.
The site selection is a critical aspect in engaging underserved populations in the Brazos Valley. As the suburbs around Bryan-College Station expanded in the past two decades, the older neighborhoods were largely left ignored. Although the Downtown District has begun to undergo revitalization efforts, it has yet to trickle into the surrounding neighborhoods. This project gives the Downtown population an anchor and enlivened community work of art to participate in and enjoy.
Part II: Structure
Acknowledging the significance and purpose of the Downtown landscape as a place for architectural identification, the design is not an intrusion upon the traditional masonry, pre-war architectural style that dominates the Downtown Bryan historic corridor; rather, it is an open steel framework from which sculptural and interactive art pieces will suspended from, anchor to, grow upon, swing from, fasten to or float within. Serving as a dynamic exhibition space, this framework will house works created by the community, for the community.