Installation of Safeway Supermarket Public Art Project

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Safeway Bethesda site construction photo August 22, 2011


Earlier
posts on the Washington Glass School Blog featured the design and fabrication of Safeway supermaket’s first public art project – located here in Bethesda and created by the Washington Glass Studio.
Installation of the public artwork has begun. The cast glass panels were made from recycled glass taken from the original supermarket during the demolition phase, and the salvaged glass was cast in a bas-relief method to create translucent panels that referenced fresh herbs – perfect for a new LEED Certified building that would house the trendy Safeway supermarket.

Erwin Timmers installs the cast glass & steel panels.

Evan Morgan affixes the glass panels to the steel framework.

Interior view of the artwork – looking out towards Bradley Ave. Bethesda, MD.

The concept of the panels was to have the artwork allow openings to allow the interior and exterior blur – approx 25% of each building bay is open to allow air flow.

Hardware still-life.

Roche Constructors are the builders of the project – and they have a Safeway webcam. Click on the link and at the top is a time-lapse feature that allows one to see the project’s demo-to-current construction status. Click HERE to jump to the Roche webcam site.

UPDATE: Click HERE to jump to finished project images.

Production of Cast Art Glass for Public Art Project

>Readers of the WGS Blog are familiar with the Public Art Project currently underway for Safeway Supermarket’s new LEED Certified building in Bethesda, MD.

Original late 1970’s Safeway in Bethesda, MD

being replaced with :

New LEEDs Certified building designed by Rounds VanDuzer Architects

Construction of the steel framework is underway & the kilns have been firing nonstop to make the “herb-leaf” inspired bas-relief kilnformed casting.


Layout sketch of a typical architectural bay.

Erwin Timmers removes the kilnfused glass from the molds.

Matt Duffy & Erwin Timmers check the clarity of the glass (mind you, it must not be too much and not be too little – it needs to be just right.)


Erwin check the glass for evenness of form and to make sure the panels will lay flat within the steel framework.

We will post other photos of the process soon!

UPDATE: Click HERE to jump to photos of finished project.

New Work by Erwin Timmers

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Self-Scrutiny by Erwin Timmers
24″ x 40″ x 8″ cast recycled glass, steel

photos by anythingphoto.net

detail showing interconnection of cast glass rods and knots

“Self-Scrutiny” is a new wall-mounted artwork by Erwin Timmers made from cast recycled glass and steel pipe. Erwin casts recycled glass into twisted tube-like shapes that he joins and creates forms with steel connectors. On the wall they form a maze that creates positive and negative spaces while highlighting the complex qualities of recycled glass.

detail showing depth of work

Glass for the piece is recycled – sourced from windows, household vases, and bottles. Unlike the glass made specifically for craft and art use, industrial glass is difficult to re-melt. Erwin has developed new techniques to exploit the characteristics of this material.

Erwin writes of his work: “My work references environmental issues of concern to me – primarily I see my artistic process as being involved with the process of recycling to create art…”

“I choose to recycle or reinterpret not only for reflection on environmental issues, but also for fun, play, and ultimately art. My work showcases the possibility and beauty of recycled material, while encouraging the viewer to consider their environmental impact.”

Erwin feels that one of the artist’s most important roles is to reveal the hidden value inherent within a particular object. His work encourages a re-examination of objects around us. By framing the object in a new way, one is challenged to rethink the value of everyday objects and one is encouraged to find aesthetic pleasure from what might seem to be the most mundane and ordinary of things.

In today’s society, the philosophy exists that once something has fulfilled its use, we should throw it away rather than try to find another use for it. Yet, finding new uses for discarded objects is one way to breathe life back into the objects around us. To see art where others see trash is one thing, but to lead others to see that art for themselves is what artists have been engaged in since the turn of the century.

Click HERE to jump to Erwin’s website.

Art and Architecture: Public Art Project

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Safeway Bethesda
Rounds VanDuzer Architects

Safeway has started construction of a new supermarket in Bethesda, MD. The new store will be a LEED certified supermarket as Safeway is committed to the greening of its stores. Besides going green, the supermarket will be built to what Safeway calls the urban “lifestyle” market, with high-quality urban design. Safeway is one of North America’s largest supermarket chains with more than 1,700 stores.

As part of the project, Safeway commissioned the Washington Glass Studio to integrate artwork into the architectural façade of the building. The wall of artwork will activate the street along the Bradley Street façade, and marks the first public artwork commission by the national supermarket chain for its stores.



The cast recycled glass and steel artwork is integrated into the architectural façade.


Over 30 feet long and 9 feet high, the glass and steel artwork will be a strong element located in Bethesda. The new building design will act as a “civic gateway” to Bethesda‘s Central Business District (CBD).

Responding to the architectural design by Rounds VanDuzer Architects the large scale artwork will feature colorful cast recycled glass made from glass salvaged from the original Safeway supermarket on the same site. Ecoartist Erwin Timmers had slogged thru the site demolition, removing glass for the artwork. Erwin’s integration of reconfigured and recycled components has made him a leader in sustainable design and he continues his work in multidisciplinary LEED projects.


Cast recycled window glass sample of custom “fresh herb” design for Safeway.

Above is the “bay leaf” pattern.


UPDATE: Click HERE to jump to images of finished project.