Bridge, Abridged - Public Artwork
Title of Artwork: Bridge, Abridged
Artist: Adam Kuby
Location: Integrated into a pedestrian walkway over Glenmore Trail at Legsby Road, just east of Crowchild Trail S.W.
Public Art Budget: $252K
Commissioned by: Transportation Infrastructure
Project Completion: 2007
Bridge, Abridged consists of several components which focus attention on the cutting-edge engineering and materials used in the pedestrian overpass structure. Adam Kuby integrates words and manipulates shapes to make users aware of the forces at work around them.
The bridge engineering is unique because it uses a cantilevered system anchored by tension rods with a "floating" span supported between the two piers. This means that the opposing forces of tension and compression work together to support the bridge walkway. A benefit of this engineering design is that a centre support for the pedestrian bridge is not needed.
Components of the artwork include:
- Compressed - a single word along the vertical pier of the structure. The letters at the
top of the pier are wide, but letters become more narrow as the letters of the word "compressed" reach toward the bottom of the structure. The final letter is squeezed almost flat to visually represent the forces of compression designed into the cantilevered pier.
- Anchoring Tension Rods - repeated words, layered along curved structures next to the bridge's tension rods.
- Transmit, Allow, Unmask; Unveil, Reveal - transparent blocks, each with one word embedded, add interest to the sound wall between Glenmore Trail and the south entrance of the pedestrian walkway. The blocks are located high on the wall in a horizontal pattern, paired with a contrasting word pressed into a brick. The blocks
are placed in two separate wall sections, in a group of six (three transparent blocks and three bricks) and a group of four (two transparent blocks and two bricks).
- Shield, Prohibit, Mask; Obscure, Conceal - bricks, each with one word embedded, are contrasted with the transparent blocks in the sound wall.
- Cantilevered - repeated words are cut into galvanized steel bands which are attached to the upper bridge railings. The bands form pattern of straight lines angled up toward the centre span of the bridge.
- Floating - repeated words are cut into galvanized steel bands attached to the upper bridge railings. The bands form a series of waves along the central section of the overpass.
- Floating - one large word is painted in large white letters on the footpath of the central bridge span.
- Expansion joint - four angular metal pieces with "expansion joint" carved into the surface are located on the underside of the bridge. The metal work draws attention to the bridge's expansion joints, which allow the whole span to naturally expand and contract with the weather conditions.
Detail of "Bridge, Abridged"
The capital project which provided the funding was the Glenmore Trail Causeway upgrades from 14th Street to Crowchild Trail. Adam Kuby was commissioned in June 2006 through an invitational call using the Public Art Program's Artist Roster.
With a Master of Fine Arts in sculpture and a Bachelor of Arts in landscape design and environmental studies, much of Adam Kuby's work 'explores how man-made sculptures can be transformed to be more ecologically responsive and how the built environment can better co-exist with the natural.'
One of his largest projects to date involved four years spent at the Bronx Zoo, designing and supervising the construction of animal habitats and public viewing spaces, complete with sculptural elements, lighting, animal containment, keeper access, interactive elements and interpretive graphics.