District 5 Bike Rack Project

bike perspective 01
I like perspective. As an architect, I like working with perspective. The experience of space can be influenced by the occupants viewpoint. I found I can do interesting things with other people’s perspective through the use of anamorphosis.
Anamorphosis is a distorted projection or perspective requiring the viewer to occupy a specific vantage point to reconstitute the image. The word “anamorphosis” is derived from the Greek prefix ana-, meaning back or again, and the word morphe, meaning shape or form.
You may have seen the chalk artist who creates immense scenes of realism that can only be viewed from a single point. This distorted projection is like an image stretched out on the ground. Incredible, but I want something for people to experience in three dimensions.
Recently I was awarded the commission to design a bike rack for Sacramento’s District 5. This was my chance to test the use of three dimensional anamorphic projection that the public can enjoy well into the future. Here’s a video of my concept.

Now to get it built.
First, the rack needs to be made of steel and finished with a durable coating. Initial thought was to use steel tube, but the custom welds would be expensive. Also, because of the perspective distance, the rack in front would be half the thickness of the rack in back. So, the best way to create the custom form is with laser cut steel plate – 1/2″ steel plate to be exact.
So I called my friend Scott Johnson over at Capital Sheet Metal to have them do the laser cutting and fabrication. Due to the weight and size of the parts, Gerlinger Steel in Woodland will do the laser cutting and Capital will weld the parts together and get it to the powdercoater for finish.
The first rack – a prototype – is due to be installed in the next couple weeks in McClatchy Park. More updates as it gets closer…

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