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Public Art Display Structure

Architecture Research Office (ARO)

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ARO, Architecture Research Office (ARO)

Project Name

Public Art Display Structure

Project Status


Year Completed



Department of Transportation

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Project Description


Cultural programming, including temporary art displays, is part of the New York City Department of Transportation’s vision to transform streets into new public plazas throughout the city. In response, the design of the public art display structure is distinctive, practical, and deferential to its urban context and the art. Easy to install and relocate, the art display structure is conceived as a short-term visitor to the public realm. The desire for lightness influences its form and character. Materials typically associated with boats are employed, and a renowned boat builder worked closely with the design team to develop the construction details and fabricate the prototype. The display surface, which glows when backlit, is a translucent stress skin panel made from a single plastic structural core. The panel edges are beveled to enhance the sense of thinness and are clad in stainless steel for impact resistance. The stainless steel base plate makes for ease of leveling on sloped pavement. Ten panels have been initially fabricated and the first deployment was in the newly renovated Willoughby plaza in downtown Brooklyn.

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