The Antelope Valley Reflecting Wall is a proposal by architecture office Min | Day to alter the face of an existing retaining wall in Lincoln, Nebraska and enliven the adjoining land. Min | Day describes the Antelope Valley Reflecting Wall as a new horizon in Lincoln, Nebraska. Although an 18 foot by 1000 foot retaining wall, the structural base of the project, already exists, the area is unimpressive and underused. Min | Day’s additions to the structure and to the space would transform the floodwall and its surroundings into a fresh new urban space for the city and the neighborhood.
Min | Day proposes to activate the site by cladding the existing concrete wall and engaging the adjoining land. The entire surface of the retaining wall would be covered stainless steel to become the Reflecting Wall. Custom stainless-steel tiles would be applied in a Penrose pattern comprised of just two different tile shapes. The Penrose pattern would not repeat in any regular way and recalls both the technological and the natural in its composition.
By duplicating its surroundings, the Reflecting Wall would counter the immensity of the existing wall into an approachable new city attraction. The patterned stainless-steel would hazily reflect the neighborhood, the public, and the rising sun and invite the public towards its interesting surface to enjoy the linear park between the wall and a steep incline.
In addition to engaging the existing retaining wall, Min | Day Architects have also proposed the addition of Quasiboulders to the park along the Reflecting Wall. The Quasiboulders would be fabric-casted concrete masses set in the ground and placed along the flood channel. They would serve as social gathering spaces for the public, and spots for individuals to stop and relax within the park. The placement of the Quasiboulders along the flood channel also aids in controlling potential flood waters within the space.
Min | Day’s considerations for the neighborhood and the city are evident in all stages of their design for the Antelope Valley Reflecting Wall. Their improvements for the existing conditions would be both impressive and manageable. The custom stainless-steel tiles are designed to attached to the reinforced concrete wall without altering its structural integrity. They are also easily replaceable and maintained, and jut out only two inches from the existing wall. The Quasiboulders could be fabricated from the same mould of an irregular truncated dodecahedrom, and placed in the grade in rotated positions for variation above ground.
The Antelope Valley Reflecting Wall would enliven an existing space in Lincoln, Nebraska. It would become a unique local park to draw people in from all over the city as well as its local community. The retaining wall exists today as an engineered boundary, but with Min | Day’s proposal, the Antelope Valley Reflecting Wall could become an attraction uniting, instead of dividing.
Architect: Min | Day
Location: Lincoln, Nebraska, USA
Project Team: Jeffrey L. Day, AIA, partner in charge, E.B. Min, AIA, Jeff Davis, Tara Meador, Nicholas Pajerski
Consultants: Collaborating artists: Jamie Burmeister, Leslie Iwai, Project Manager: Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts, Mark Masuoka, executive director, Holly McAdams, community arts coordinator, Fabrication Consultant: Zahner, L. William Zahner, president & CEO
Project Year: 2008-Present
Photographs: Min | Day