Introducing Singing Mountain!
If you’ve seen the plans for our newest signature park, Skyline Park, you know it’s going to be amazing! When it’s complete early next year, the park will feature a splash pad, two cool play areas, swings, slides, restrooms, a great lawn with a shaded concert pavilion, a zipline, and even a scale model of Austin’s famous Pennybacker Bridge called the Mini Penny. We’ve mentioned that there will be a public art installation in Skyline Park, and we’re finally able to tell you more about it!
A first look at Singing Mountain
The highest point in the park will be home to Singing Mountain, a large-scale public artwork that will speak to our ears as well as our eyes. Designed by local artist and architect Nicholas DeBruyne, the piece was chosen from more than 168 entries by the Easton Park Public Art Committee. This kinetic wind sculpture has three angled steel and timber columns that reach out of the hill toward the sky. The columns are ringed by 5,000 reflective stainless steel rods, creating a pavilion-like space under the sculpture where people can gather. Stone benches surround the base, giving visitors spots to sit as they look up through the middle of the piece.
Inspired by nature
The vision for the piece came from the site itself. “I wanted to make a piece that was rooted in the place,” Nicholas said. “This structure will look like it was part of the hill, crowning the top of it and framing the view of downtown.”
In the center of the piece, three red wind paddles spin as they catch the breezes above. Each of the three paddles transmits its kinetic energy through to a clapper that strikes a giant tubular chime. Nicholas worked with Austin’s Music of the Spheres, one of the preeminent wind chime companies in the world, to choose three complementary tones that make a harmonious chord when played together. “We’re really lucky, because we looked at companies all over the country and one of the best is here in Austin,” Nicholas said. “For this project, we have three chime tubes, each with its own wind paddle. As the fins of the paddles move with the breeze, they’ll strike the chimes and make a beautiful triad chord.”
Fabricating a mountain
Singing Mountain is currently in fabrication, and the piece is slated for delivery by the end of the year. Nicholas has been working closely with the fabrication team, as well as an engineer and the landscape architect to ensure the final piece will fit the site. “I love the intersection of art and architecture – the boundaries are really blurred for me,” Nicholas said. “I really wanted to create a simple and beautiful gesture, a place of connection for the community where everyone could come together to enjoy that view.”
We can’t wait to see it in place, Nicholas! If you want to be able to walk to Singing Mountain when it’s installed, come be our neighbor in Easton Park.