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Silvery and sinuous, three thousand stainless-steel discs reflect the ever-shifting flow of both water and wind.

TAMPA WIND

Environmental Sciences Building, University of South Florida, Tampa, Florida  

2009

Stainless steel

98 feet high x 3 feet wide x 3 inches deep

 

 

Engineered for movement, Tampa Wind blends the impression of water’s surfaces with the active registry of wind patterns.  The design is based on studies of the nearby Hillsborough River’s meandering form. 

Three thousand silvery stainless steel discs form a sinuous band up the length of the building’s stair tower; as breezes blow across the tower’s surface, the discs shimmer, pivot, and tip.

Even when the wind is still, Tampa Wind registers change—the discs catch muted reflections of colors in the surrounding landscape, creating a dynamic pointillist painting of sky, clouds, and vegetation.

The back-plate's large meandering form and the disc's small-scale movements show how water and wind flow in similar ways. Both systems follow the laws of fluid dynamics, moving in eddies, vortices and laminar flows.

During installation, the curving form is attached to the building.