WEST PALM BEACH, FLA. (February 25, 2019) –
After soliciting public input, the City of West Palm Beach intends to transform Quadrille Boulevard from a barren, physical space into an interesting and vibrant public space. Quadrille is considered the spine of downtown, yet it is a linear space that provides little to the pedestrian. The challenge: how to transform a 984 ft. uninviting space that lacks shade, connectivity and currently makes walking a chore into a colorful, interesting, pedestrian-friendly space? Answer: creative intervention.
‘Shade Parade’ will be coming to Quadrille in early fall 2019. The installation is a series of gliding shelters that accompany pedestrians on their journey along Quadrille. The bright pink oversized parasols will be located at three sites along the west side of Quadrille between Clematis and Fern Streets and will help make the street a place of delight and surprise. Suspended on cables, the public will be invited to take these sun shades by the handle to stroll, play, connect and experience this space in new and surprising ways. Each site would have two large shade structures in vibrant magenta of eight feet in diameter. At night, a warm glow from solar powered lights will emanate from within the shade structure creating a different experience for the user. The shades will provide protection from the sun and rain and are engineered to meet Florida codes.
‘Shade Parade’ is made possible, in part, by a $125,000 grant to the City’s Art in Public Places (AiPP) program from the John L. and James S. Knight Foundation Fund of the Community Foundation for Palm Beach and Martin Counties to commission Daily tous les jours (tlj), an interactive design-based studio in Montreal, to reimagine Quadrille between Clematis and Fern Streets. The City’s AiPP program matched the funds.
“Community engagement is at the core of this project which ensures inclusive results, encourages an appreciation for public art, and ultimately creates vested stakeholders who will use and promote the space,” said Sybille Welter, AiPP coordinator.
Community input and engagement were key in developing Shade Parade. Two creative sessions were held with the community to inform the design. Led by tlj, informal gatherings were held at downtown locations and on the site. After completing a series of exercises to better understand the challenges and opportunities of the location, participants responded by underscoring the importance of making walking along Quadrille a more enjoyable experience; the desire for an engaging art experience that promotes connectivity to each other; and the need for the work to create a distinct experience in our city. One participant stated, “Excellent connectivity actively discourages car use by making local trips easier and more pleasant by foot.”
Stay tuned as the project goes from design concept to realization. The community will be called upon for participatory feedback. For more information, please contact Sybille Welter, City of West Palm Beach AiPP Coordinator at email@example.com