Studio Bonner and Stayner Architects

Studio Bonner and Stayner Architects

Los Angeles, CA


'Tis the Wind

A permanently installed memorial to Edgar Allan Poe consists of a small, freestanding triangular glass pavilion in Poe Square, adjacent to the Boston Common. The project is comprised of an almost spectral structure of steel fins above a distorted slump glass façade that faces onto Charles Street. The corrugations of the glass are both structural and provide shelving for the display of objects. The interior of the kiosk contains a collection of Edgar Allan Poe related items on exhibition and for sale. In the absence of an historical building related to Poe’s time in Boston, the sculpture is intended to function as a cenotaph meets “gift shop,” as a Wonderkammer, and as an interpretive center or place-maker for a schedule of gatherings, meetings and activities related to the fraught relationship between Poe and his hometown of Boston. As a central figure in the creation of an American popular culture, the memorial to Poe actively engages in the economy of desire and consumption.

The visitor becomes a performative element in the work: a voyeur, a consumer of Poe’s legacy, and part of an extended concept of sculpture. Rather than a static representation, the pavilion will become a living memorial to the memory of Poe’s non-conformist life. Like the interpretations of Poe’s writing, the public artwork is designed to evolve in use and change in contents over time, both throughout the day and over the years, adapting to future relationships between Poe’s legacy and Boston. The project is participatory and rejects the representation of a figurative monument.

Team: Jennifer Bonner (Studio Bonner) and Christian Stayner (Stayner Architects)
Client: Edgar Allan Poe Foundation and the Boston Art Commission
Project Type: Public Art
Year: 2011-ongoing
Location: Boston, Poe Square
Competition: Finalist, commissioned to make public proposal
Opportunity for Public Opinion here:

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Status: Unbuilt
Location: Boston, Massachusetts