Though solid and dry, this environment feels like the swirling movement of river water.
Mission Concepción Portal on the Mission Reach, San Antonio River, San Antonio, Texas
Stone, sandblasted concrete, pigment
3 feet high x 200 feet long x 100 feet wide
Commissioned by The San Antonio River Foundation
Dedicated to Sonny Collins and Penelope Speier
Set equidistant from the Concepcion Mission and the San Antonio River, this artwork borrows patterns and materials from the river and the architecture. The artwork reflects the movement of the river’s water. The sandblasted floor diagrams a close-up view of the intricate patterns of the river’s hydrology while the seating walls reflect the currents of the river.
The piece creates a pattern of watery vortices made from stone and sandblasted concrete to sweep the park user in to this dry river.
Raised stone walls curve and sweep like rapids in the river. These walls invite kids to run along the curving slopes. They become outdoor furniture, creating shady nooks to sit in.
On the floor of the park, like an elaborate carpet, the patterns of the river’s flowing water meet the floral patterns from the frescos inside of Mission Concepcion. The actual hydrology of the river is replicated in the patterns of the sweeping curves of this blasted floor. The scientific understanding of the river’s patterns then morph into the leaf and flower forms found in the Mission’s carved stone doorway and frescoes.
This project makes a park for all ages to walk the spiraling patterns of the River and the Mission.
This artwork is part of the UNESCO World Heritage site.
This aerial plan shows the undulating, swirling pattern moving from the floral designs of the Mission’s architecture into the flowing forms of the river itself.
"You've made stone flow like river water, tributaries whose flourishes defy their material. It's a gorgeous design that joins Mission and River. Congratulations on this commission!" --- Eleanor Wilner