Location: University of Minnesota – Minneapolis, MN
Completion Date: Summer 2011 – Fall 2011
Proposed Budget: $1-2 Million
Our team for Weisman Plaza Design Competition was a uniquely collaborative endeavor—in the spirit of bebop jazz improvisation—between 4RM+ULA, Local Office Landscape Architecture (LOLA), and visual artists; Seitu Jones, Satoko Muratake, and Roger Cummings.
Seitu Jones’s Earth Totem is inspired by the river bluff at the base of the site—the rock being chizzled away by the Mississippi River and the rugged native vegetation that springs forth from it. The sculptural form figuratively engages the geologic processes of its creation, while literally being composed of the limestone and plant life that exists there. Satoko Muratake’s Water Totem is informed by the ever-changing shape of the Mississippi at this particular point along its expanse. The sculptural form is a continous metal gabion basket framework filled with recycled glass that figuratively relates to the river’s oscillating path while literally employing falling water to add to the sensory experience of plaza-goers. Roger Cumming’s Fire Totem alludes to fire having been used by early indigenous inhabitants as a technological innovation to modify the native vegetation of the river plateau. The sculpural form figuratively nods to the elemental composition of flame—seeing the light and heat—as technology by literally glowing at night.
Our vision for the Weisman Plaza, the 21st Century Oasis, is a place where, to paraphrase Mr. Mingus; “..the complicated is made simple, awesomely simple.”