Origami Garden

ORIGAMI GARDEN “Origami Garden” is an expressive courtyard garden and environmental artwork located at the new LEED Tempe Transportation Center, a model for sustainable design and community planning. Nestled at the base of Hayden Butte, the artwork is a gathering place and link between adjacent light rail and bus platforms, civic buildings, and Arizona State University. The sustainably designed artwork includes: gabions with recycled glass rocks, low-energy LED lightworks, faceted earthworks & planting beds, xeriscape plantings, harvested rainwater for irrigation, canted and colored concrete walls, terrazzo paving, and seating areas. Folded under an angular community room that floats above, the artwork includes a series of dramatic elements that enliven the space. Sculptural, earthen planes with native and drought-tolerant plantings are retained by canted, sloping concrete walls and glass-filled gabions. Rainwater is harvested and used for irrigation. Steel headers at ridgeline and valley separate each facet in the planting beds. The gabions with recycled glass rocks act as both retaining walls and light artworks. The rocks are recycled glass slag, a waste product of the glass manufacturing process. At night, the LED lightworks illuminate the glass-filled gabions, creating a vibrant space for events and interactions. Sequences of colored light respond to changes in time, weather, and movement. Terrazzo paving with shifting chevron bands activates the courtyard’s ground plane. The red, tan, and brown terrazzo bands echo the sun-baked colors of the region’s canyon landscapes and nearby Hayden Butte. Separated by zinc terrazzo strips, these colored bands also reflect the multi-directional pedestrian flows between plaza, buildings, and transit platforms. Informal seating steps and walls situated in both sun and shade provide places for people to linger and engage one another. In summary, “Origami Garden” incorporates sustainable materials and design strategies while providing a vibrant gathering space for downtown Tempe.

Origami Garden is an expressive courtyard garden and environmental artwork located at the LEED Certified Tempe Transportation Center. The artwork creates a gathering place and link between adjacent light rail and bus platforms, civic buildings, and Arizona State University. The sustainably-designed artwork includes: gabions with recycled glass rocks, low-energy LED light works, faceted earthworks and planting beds, harvested rainwater for irrigation, and seating areas. The informal seating steps are situated in both sun and shade to provide places for people to linger and connect with one another. The goal of Origami Garden is to incorporate sustainable materials and design strategies while providing a vibrant gathering space for downtown Tempe, as well as create interactions with the physical and psychological movements of people and the natural environment. Origami Garden earned a Public Art Network Year in Review Award in 2009.

Lorna Jordan’s artwork has been featured as solo exhibitions and installations at numerous museums including the Boise Art Museum and the Center on Contemporary Art in Seattle. She has served on public art commissions and design team projects since 1994.