Why This Matters: “Wanderwall,” an 18,000 square foot sculpture by Brooklyn-based artist Marc Fornes/THEVERYMANY at NOVEL Stonewall Station, creates a new gateway into uptown Charlotte from the South End.
By Bernie Petit
A unique collaboration between ASC and Crescent Communities is transforming a drab parking deck into a colorful new welcome as you enter uptown Charlotte from I-277 and South End.
“Wanderwall,” an 18,000 square foot sculpture by world-renowned, Brooklyn-based artist and Architect DPLG Marc Fornes/THEVERYMANY, is being installed at NOVEL Stonewall Station, a multifamily and mixed use development that includes uptown’s first Whole Foods Market and a direct connection to the LYNX Blue Line. ASC provided artist selection management and consultation for the Crescent project.
The artwork, expected to be completed in July, is a three-dimensional building skin made of sheets of folded and perforated aluminum that forms a colorful motif that can be read from a distance and alter the character of the building up close. At seven stories, it will be one of the largest public artworks in North Carolina, as well as an innovative solution to a community development challenge.
“Art brings people together, builds a sense of place and community and shapes cities,” said Jim Kwasnowski, vice president of development at Crescent Communities. “It is our hope that Wanderwall becomes one of the iconic sights around our city and inspires more investment in public art to enhance and define uptown.”
“Wanderwall” draws upon imagery from Charlotte’s financial industry, Fornes said in his artist statement. The artwork’s folded metal façade describes elements of flows and networks, with a labyrinthine porosity that allows light to flow into the garage interior.
This dimensional architectural skin is composed of 5,768 individual parts that wrap the Southwest and Southeast elevations of the Stonewall Station parking garage.
“From the street, you are able to discern its integral patterns and engage in what we call ‘visual wandering,’ where you lose yourself in the piece,” he said. “Up close, the details come into focus: you can perceive its depth and intricate connections. Within the parking garage, the porosity that patterns the exterior projects dynamic light inside.”
For residents and visitors, the dynamic artwork marks a new landmark that anticipates the city’s bright future and produces moments of discovery with each visit.
“‘Wanderwall’ creates a new gateway into uptown Charlotte from the South End and its prominent location ensures high visibility from major roadways as well as a more intimate vantage point experienced by pedestrians and cyclists entering uptown,” said ASC Vice President of Public Art Carla Hanzal. “This sophisticated artwork testifies to the new energy and connectivity created by our transforming urban landscape.”