Sign & Digital Graphics

February '18

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66 • February 2018 • S I G N & D I G I T A L G R A P H I C S ARCHITECTURAL AND ENVIRONMENTAL festoon poles that support cables and lanterns. The elements have a dark green, a light green and a yellow leaf rotating off a 24' metal stem as if caught by a sudden breeze, providing a whimsical feel to a shade structure in the park, about 10 miles south of Denver. Ground level lighting adds to that feel with a dramatic night effect. The largest leaf is 27 feet long and 18 feet wide at the broadest points, and the smallest is 16 feet and 14 feet from tip to tip. "We felt that because architectural projects involve metal fabrication, welding and painting, all the things we do with signage, we felt like we could adapt to a different type of work using the same materials," Dobie says. Fabricating the sculpture became "the most complicated job we have ever done," Dobie says. BSC Custom fabricated and installed the sculpture, which Norris Design, an architectural design firm in Denver, designed with input from BSC Custom. Norris Design also developed the con- cept for the park space and amenities. "It all had to be built to strict engi- neering standards, so we worked with a structural engineer on how it was all going to fit together and be strong enough to withstand the strong Colorado winds" Dobie says. The Design Process The timeframe to make the sculpture from the approved shop drawings to the installation in late spring 2017 took nearly six months. The designers at BSC Custom cre- ated the drawings, or 3D design models, to demonstrate how best to fabricate the sculpture for onsite assembly that addresses the challenges of fabricating the leaves' complex compound curves. The leaves had to be designed so they could be suspended from a crane and bolted into place. They also had to have attachment points able to withstand 130-mile-per-hour winds, and the cen- ter pole had to be securely anchored to the ground. "They understand and are very capa- ble of doing 3 D renderings, working with architectural concepts and bringing them into our designs," Dobie says. "Bringing them into reality was a relatively easy process for us." But the leave structures proved more complicated to design and fabricate than the typical sign, Dobie says. "Signs take an average of two to four weeks to build versus the nearly six months it took for the sculptures. Signs are often square and relatively easy to build," Dobie says. "Little Village has multiple compound curves and compli- cated angles to go with those curves. It's not like a box. It's freeform shapes." Crews at BSC Custom in Broomfield, Colo., study a leaf component that is part of the Littleton Village Outdoor Art Project installed in early 2017. A BSC Custom crewmember welds the steel components of a leaf.

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