Easton Park . Jan 10, 2022

Art in the Park

We’re thrilled to have construction underway in our newest neighborhood section, Discovery Park, and one of the big highlights of this new section is the park itself.

Discovery Through the Senses

Our incredibly talented landscape architects, TBG, wanted this 1.62-acre park to be true to its name and offer visitors a sense of discovery that encouraged guests to discover the park through all of their senses. The interactive sensory experiences will include an inviting play structure with swings and natural play opportunities including a dry creek, dig zone, and sensory gardens. Families can gather, picnic, and relax in one of the many shaded seating areas, taking in expansive views of the park and the rolling play lawn beyond. Groupings of sturdy heritage oaks will offer cover from the heat as well as the welcoming melody of treetop chimes.

An Artful Welcome

One of the most exciting parts of the park will be a public art installation from renowned artist Beili Liu. The interactive sculpture, called Air Seed Arbor, will be placed at the entry of the park as part of planted, stone portal. Visitors will be able to walk under and through the polished aluminum lattice featuring a freeform design inspired by the lightness and playfulness of the organic pattern of air bubbles. “As guests travel under the arbor to enter the park, their eyes are drawn upwards,” Liu says. “The sky, clouds, and stars are captured and re-envisioned through the interlacing openings between the silver lines.”

Photo credits http://beililiu.com/

From Inspiration to Arbor

To develop the sculpture, Liu visited the park and worked with the design team to create a piece that would complement the natural topography. She imagined a piece that would not only lead guests into the park but connect them to the land and the present moment. “As people come to the sculpture in different times of day, the shadows will be dramatic, like a sundial,” Liu says. “It’s an animated experience that’s always changing.” The piece is intended to remind visitors to slow down, take a pause, breathe in the beauty of the park, and enjoy their time of connection with family and friends.

A Connected Community

Liu was also inspired by the diverse and interconnected community of Easton Park itself. The dynamic, radiating lines that make up the arbor “converge and disperse throughout the curved plane,” Liu says. “While each line, each encounter, and each convergence is unique, together, they form a cohesive collective with mutual support and strength.”

Metal Sculpture created by artist Liu in Southeast Austin

Bringing the Arbor to Life

Now that the planning phase is complete, Liu will supervise the sculpture’s fabrication. The piece will be formed from 1⁄4” inch polished aluminum plates, ribbings, and zinc-coated steel hardware. Liu will fine tune the details of the pattern to ensure there are no share edges before the design is cut out with water jet cuts. “We’re always thinking about safety,” she said. “We’ll use a metal grinder to round the edges, making sure there’s nothing sharp.”

The arbor will be one of the final pieces of the park hardscape to be installed, since it will be mounted on large stone bricks of the entryway. Liu has promised to provide in-progress pictures during the fabrication: follow us on Facebook and Instagram to get sneak peeks!

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