Airway Gateway
2011-2015, El Paso, TX

Vicki Scuri SiteWorks with Alexandr Polzin
Engineer: Jacobs
Sponsored by the City of El Paso, CRRMA & TxDOT 

Awards:  2015 CODAawards Top 100
2014 Best of the Border, Public Art, El Paso Times

Airway, as a landmark and a destination, creates a gateway to the El Paso International Airport and Downtown. Renovating the existing infrastructure, transforming its massive concrete footprint within its site and environment, establishes a new dynamic, introducing ornamented functional wind turbines, illuminated sculptural forms, and sweeping arched planters with windswept patterning and native plants.

Removing hardscape whenever possible and covering the remaining slope paving with landscape, native stone, and a series of forms inspired by aerodynamics and desert plants, combines an industrial aesthetic with symbols of growth and renewal. The result celebrates place and community, reinvigorated and transformed. Color, sculpture, patterning, lighting, landscape, and site improvements revive the previous “dead zone,” weighted by aging infrastructure, providing safety and beauty. From dusk until dawn, programmed LED lighting illuminates the site, marking seasons and holidays with colorful displays.

The lighting for the Airway Gateway reflects the seasons. Each season is characterized by a color selection: blue and green in Spring; green and orange in Summer; orange and purple in Fall; and purple and blue in Winter. Each show is 1 hour long, plus a 15- minute hold on a dominant color of that respective season. The shows run from dusk until dawn. Each show shares the same 52 colors with emphasis on its seasonal hues, marking the 52 weeks of the year. The color sequences represent a pattern structure similar to quilt or Mexican Blanket.

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