On Oct. 21, visitors to Downtown Chandler will have a colorful new place to park.
Although the Oregon Street Parking Garage, located behind the future New Square, will feature more than 900 new spaces and give downtown visitors more room for cars, this new garage has more to love than its parking.
The garage will not only serve as a place to park but also a public art piece. Three separate projects will add color and function to the garage, helping it become a recognizable point of interest in the City’s growing downtown when it opens this month.
Shown right: The garage’s public art benches and canopies (shown here) are undergoing installation and will be complete for the fall opening.
On the east side of the garage, artists from coLAB Studio designed a shade canopy to match the feel of Downtown Chandler and its patrons. Maria Salenger, the lead artist on the project, said this piece was inspired by Chandler’s safe and youthful energy.
“Chandler is one of the most kid-friendly communities in the state of Arizona; we see the commitment the City has in helping raise healthy, happy and thoughtful young people,” Salenger said. “Developing a playful and environmentally engaging addition to the downtown streetscape was a primary concept to our piece.”
The studio designed the canopies with “sunslides” — cone-shaped structures visitors can gaze through from both above and below. The sunslides turn the shade canopies into a visual experience engineered to change throughout the seasons.
“The cones are shaped and colored to connect to natural daylight that changes from winter, spring, summer and fall,” Salenger said. “Louvers and openings both take in and block out daylight seasonally, intensifying the applied color inside the tubular cones.”
Visitors to downtown can experience the changes with seasonal trips to view the canopies. Winter light will emphasize the piece’s warm magenta, spring and fall will emphasize lively greens and summer light will emphasize cooling blues.
In addition to the canopies, one corner of the garage will feature colorful benches of various heights and sizes designed by artist Jeff Zischke to reflect the diversity of Chandler’s growing population.
Benches were chosen to add a visual element that could be both an interesting focal point and a gathering place for downtown visitors.
Anyone visiting at night will notice the third visual element on the garage. A mesh screening filled with thousands of LED lights lines the north and south sides of the stairwells.
The City will be able to control the colors and visual effects displayed on the screens throughout the year, adding yet another focal point to New Square’s parking garage.
Shown left: The entrance to the new Oregon Street Parking Garage. The LED screening is visible over the stairwell.
Chandler’s 1% Dedication to the Arts
The Oregon Street Parking Garage public art is funded by the City’s 1% for the arts ordinance — a celebrated addition to Chandler’s city code since the 1980s. The ordinance dedicates 1% of all funds allocated for capital improvement projects, primarily new buildings and parks, to be spent beautifying the City through public art.
To explore Chandler’s full collection of public art, take our digital Interactive Art Tour.