Walking under a canopy of California poppies gently spinning in the breeze,
or dining at tables floating on flower stalks. Above, solar panels nesting
within thebronze petals are harvesting the sun's energy for the evening,
when dozens of tiny lights in the flower's collar will illuminate each
blossom and tabletop.
Visitors to the California Avenue restaurant district are greeted with
a sculptural bouquet. "Sun Flowers" is located on the street
in front of 440 California Ave., between El Camino Real and the train
station. All along California Avenue, public art is at work in the transformation
and renewal of the old downtown.
How it works
Inspired by nature and powered by wind and sun, this sculptural seating
area combines art function, and energy efficiency. During the day, the
sun charges solar panels hidden within the blossoms, while the wind rotates
their petals. At night, these sculptures are lit by energy-saving diode
lights, powered by a long-lived gel battery, for dining al fresco. These
solar panels and lights will create an energy independent environment
for decades to come.
Jeffrey Reed and Jennifer Madden design and build contemplative sculptural
environments. They specialize in creating poetic places for people through
the synthesis of function and sculpture. Their piece, "Sun Flowers",
is a gathering place for community, refreshment, contemplation and discovery.
Reed Madden Designs is a husband and wife team that explores unique sites
and solutions using a wide material palette. Jeffrey Reed holds an architecture
degree from Cal Poly S.L.O, and is a licensed contractor. Jennifer Madden
holds an M.L.A. degree from U.C. Berkeley and teaches landscape architecture
at U.C. Davis. Their studio is in Oakland, California.
Call them at 510-525-5350.
Commissioned by the Palo Alto Public Art Commission
with support from the City of Palo Alto Utilities, Country Sun Natural
Foods, and CAADA.
by Jeffrey Reed and Jennifer Madden