The installation of Safeway Supermarket's Bethesda store public art is nearing completion. WGS' "green artist" Erwin Timmers has been putting the final touches on the outdoor sculpture with Evan Morgan as the contractors race to compete construction of the LEED certified building in time for the scheduled October 13, 2011 ribbon cutting. The public art project, using cast recycled glass - including glass salvaged from the original building and refrigeration displays - was designed to respond to the LEED certified architecture it is now integrated.
Susan Lomuto and Erwin Timmers salvage glass from the demolished Safeway freezer units.
The cast bas-relief glass motifs of fresh herbs were designed to meander organically across the building's façade, working as a counterpoint to the rhythm of the strong stone piers, while relating to aspects of the building's use.
Cast recycled glass inside the kiln. The glass has been fired into one-time molds at 1500° F and annealed. Next, the bas-relief panels will be cut and the glass tile edges polished.
The artglass color palate ranges between clear, amber and a blue-shift color. Areas of within the grids are left open to allow air and establish a connection between the interior and the busy streetscape.
The design and progress of the cast recycled glass has been mentioned in earlier postings on the school blog.
The Safeway architects, builders and design team admire the transformative quality the glass gives to the interior.
Other media outlets have been covering the Safeway supermarket design- including the DC area real estate blog DCMud and NewsChannel 8's TBD.com has covered the supermarket-as-art curator aspect.
The supermarket is excited about their addition to both the Bethesda retail scene and their first foray into the art world. We will post pix and coverage of the store's celebrity filled vernissage this October.
UPDATE: Click HERE to jump to photos of the finished project.