Safeway Bethesda Opens In Grand Style

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Safeway Bethesda located at Bradley Boulevard and Arlington Road on Wednesday night.


The Safeway Bethesda supermarket – that features Safeway’s first public art project – celebrated its grand opening with a lavish gala that featured bands, celebrity chefs, public officials, television celebrities, and most importantly, artwork.


Safeway Bethesda Bradley Avenue façade. Comments on the building artwork include one that “Safeway’s kundalini has risen”


The process the Washington Glass Studio employed for the creation of the bas-relief artwork walls made from glass salvaged from the original supermarket building (1956- 2010) has been documented in a number of previous
postings, including the installation of the artwork (and time-lapse imagery of the building construction).


Special lighting emphasizes the dry stack stonework.

The opening was a great vernissage – in a supermarket. (By the way, walking thru the freezer section of a supermarket, while listening to a live jazz combo performing one aisle over & gourmet appetizers made by guest celebrity chefs, and being offered fine champagne by waiters is a surreal experience – all cool, but very unusual.)

Champagne?… why yes, thanks…


Why is that an ICE sculpture?… It should be glass.

Jazz performed amongst the seasonal goods.

One of the cool event accouterments was the carved pumpkin displays. The artist based the pumpkin carvings on the building’s cast glass panels – a nice switch on the traditional glass pumpkins.
The night also featured artwork displays; the work by sculptor Judy Sutton Moore was exhibited on the staircase, and work by the Washington Glass School was featured in the rotunda.


Featured artists: Washington Glass School


WUSA – channel 9 news anchor Andrea Roane was the master of ceremonies.

Andrea received a gift of one of the WGS cast glass tile squares, and showed the artwork the next morning during her broadcast.

Project data:
Client: Safeway Inc.
Architect: Rounds Vanduzer
Builder: Roche Constructors
Completion: Oct 2011
Artwork team: Erwin Timmers, Michael Janis, Tim Tate, M L Duffy, Chris Duffy, Robert Kincheloe, Evan Morgan, Susan Lomuto, George Anderton.

Safeway Bethesda Public Art Sculpture From Recycled Glass

>Roche Constructor’s webcam located opposite the Bethesda Safeway site caught Evan Morgan and Erwin Timmers installing the cast recycled glass and metal framework into the facade of the new building.

The installation of Safeway Supermarket’s Bethesda store public art is nearing completion. WGS’ “green artist” Erwin Timmers has been putting the final touches on the outdoor sculpture with Evan Morgan as the contractors race to compete construction of the LEED certified building in time for the scheduled October 13, 2011 ribbon cutting. The public art project, using cast recycled glass – including glass salvaged from the original building and refrigeration displays – was designed to respond to the LEED certified architecture it is now integrated.

Susan Lomuto and Erwin Timmers salvage glass from the demolished Safeway freezer units.


The cast bas-relief glass motifs of fresh herbs were designed to meander organically across the building’s façade, working as a counterpoint to the rhythm of the strong stone piers, while relating to aspects of the building’s use.

Cast recycled glass inside the kiln. The glass has been fired into one-time molds at 1500° F and annealed. Next, the bas-relief panels will be cut and the glass tile edges polished.

The artglass color palate ranges between clear, amber and a blue-shift color. Areas of within the grids are left open to allow air and establish a connection between the interior and the busy streetscape.

Erwin Timmers touches up the steel frame finish.

The design and progress of the cast recycled glass has been mentioned in earlier postings on the school blog.

The Safeway architects, builders and design team admire the transformative quality the glass gives to the interior.


Other media outlets have been covering the Safeway supermarket design- including the DC area real estate blog
DCMud and NewsChannel 8′s TBD.com has covered the supermarket-as-art curator aspect.

Artist Erwin Timmers can be seen silhouetted thru the glass.

The supermarket is excited about their addition to both the Bethesda retail scene and their first foray into the art world. We will post pix and coverage of the store’s celebrity filled vernissage this October.

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

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.

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.


Erwin Timmers Environmental Artwork Sculpture

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Erwin Timmer’s original concept sketch for the cast recycled glass panel sculpture.


The actual installation of the glass sculpture. The vision and reality are a close match!

This weekend, Erwin Timmers installed a major commissioned art work for the new environmentally conscious building at 1129 20th St. NW, Washington, DC, also known as “The Liberty Building“.

1129 20th St, NW, Washington, DC

Working together with Anna Major of Fox Architects and building owner John Gattuso, the wall sculpture is a site–specific piece that has a dialog with Margaret Boozer’s ceramic artwork installation also in the building lobby.

The owner wanted artwork with a vertical orientation to echo the architectural aspects of the space, mounted atop the subtle-textured white limestone wall. Although the building and its lobby are very minimalist in design, a strong artwork was desired to work in contrast. In the owners words, the wall is beautiful, but sooner or later people are going to ask him, “…when are you going put up the art?”

The wall sculpture created by casting with recycled window glass is central to the concept of this piece. Erwin was selected for the commission in part because of his use of sustainable design in his artwork, and his use of recycled glass has the artwork keep in the nature of the building’s LEED gold certified design. Window glass or float glass is one of the least recycled building materials and many recycling advocacy organizations and programs consider it the pariah of their work. Less than 3% percent of discarded float glass is recycled, and this project provided the opportunity to divert at least some from the waste stream.

Erwin Timmers installing the recycled glass artwork on the limestone wall.

There is also a great play between the lobby artworks, where Margaret Boozer’s work is stone on glass, and Erwin’s incorporates glass on stone. Erwin commented that his glass sculpture also references modern technology and communication – the final design is actually based on the word “ART” in barcode language.

Erwin Timmers sculpture left, Margaret Boozer’s sculpture beyond.

Click HERE to see more of Erwin Timmers’ environmental based artwork.