601 City Center
Design David Brenner
Installation Habitat Horticulture
Architect KSH Architects
General Contractor Hathaway Dinwiddle Construction
Dimensions 33' 4-1/4" wide x 19' high
Completion Date June 2019
Location Oakland, CA
Photographer Garry Belinsky
Urban Econtones at 601 City Center
Urban Ecotones by David Brenner is a 19-foot-by-34-foot interior living wall and mosaic composition that features more than 25 plant species in colorful, intertwining swaths of flora. With diverse tones, colors and textures, the piece is a vivid, multi-dimensional tapestry that celebrates Oakland as an epicenter for eclectic, cultural expression. In accordance with Oakland’s Public Art for Private Development municipal code, Urban Ecotones is the first living wall to receive public art designation by the City of Oakland.
The living wall resides in the east lobby of 601 City Center – the public space access of a new 24 story, 600,000 sq.ft. mixed-use commercial building opened this fall by real estate investment and development firm, Shorenstein Properties. Adjacent to the living wall is the lobby’s second public art commission – Sense of Place – a digital data painting created by internationally renowned artist, Refik Anadol.
As reflected in the title of David Brenner’s design, an ecotone is a transition zone where two adjacent communities come together to share characteristics. Visible from both inside and outside the lobby’s public space, the two artworks reflect and respond to the surrounding environment and passersby, though in very different ways. While the plant medium of Urban Ecotones evolves with the interior climate, seasons, and plant life cycles, Sense of Place uses sensor devices to capture real-time raw data of detailed weather metrics, WiFi and LTE activity, radio wave activity and ambient sound. The invisible forces and patterns surrounding 601 City Center are projected on a 360 square foot LED screen to display an array of undulating and colorful visuals that never repeat.
“I designed Urban Ecotones with the intention to mimic what Sense of Place would communicate in both the visual design and subtext,“ explains David Brenner founder and principal of Habitat Horticulture. “The diversity in tones, colors, texture variance, and composition of the living wall reflects continuous movement, and the interaction between the species will subtly evolve overtime.”