Monumental blades of grass along the Thomas Road bridge
recall vegetation of the landscape below.
Thomas Road Bridge over Indian Bend Wash Park, Scottsdale, Arizona
325 feet long x 18 feet tall, along both bridge rails
Commissioned by Scottsdale Public Art
A landmark for the neighborhoods of Thomas Road, Swale gives visual presence to a multi-use crossing point. The artwork’s large metal blades and seed heads serve as a beacon for pedestrian and vehicular bridge traffic, while also creating a way-finding device for the walkers, joggers, and bikers traveling on the park path below.
These flows of human movement find an echo in the sculpture’s organic forms; along the bridge rails, Swale’s simple steel elements appear to blow in the breeze. The sculpture’s forms are reminiscent of the grasses growing in the park below where the water runs after rain.
As the road crosses the wet swale of the neighborhood, this project becomes an iconic corridor-marking moment for all modes of transportation from cars and pedestrians moving through the neighborhood above, to the recreational bikers, joggers, and walkers using the linear park below.
The tall structures remind those driving past in vehicles of the organic life surrounding them.
Prior to installation, the concrete structure does little to recall the natural growth below.