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Nasher Sculpture Center

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For this important collection of modern sculpture, PWP created an outdoor gallery that can hold between 20 and 30 pieces, a few permanently, most in changing exhibits. The design responds to Renzo Piano’s building, a parallel series of “archaeological” walls that allow views from Flora Street (the main street of the Arts District) through the delicately glazed building out to the garden. Here display spaces are created by live-oak and cedar-elm allees, rows of holly hedges, and a series of stone plinths that serve as seating and pedestals for sculpture. The plinths also hold flexible systems of lighting, sound, security, and irrigation. Large cedar-elm groves create a counterpoint and outdoor rooms for sculpture. Fountains and pools at the side and end of the garden attract the eye and mask noise. Groves of bamboo and a magnificent hedge of magnolias frame the sides of the building. The size of some pieces and the movement of sculpture in and out of the garden necessitated the invention of a special soil system that supports weight, drains perfectly without catch basins, and encourages the growth of a resilient turf grass as well as the many specimen trees. Pavement was kept to a minimum, allowing easy access through the full extent of the garden.

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