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t. joseph surjan

t. joseph surjan

Chicago, IL, US

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Facade detail of Bellwether City.
Facade detail of Bellwether City.
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Bellwether City - ( Triangle Fire Memorial )

Bellwether City

In the entire world, there are only two cities.
There is the City of the Living & there is the City of the Dead.
The Triangle Fire Memorial physically represents the union of these two cities in the form of a musical instrument.
The vertical site of the Triangle Fire Memorial is built on the sound of one hundred forty-six bells.
A bell is created for each individual who perished in the Triangle Fire on March 25, 1911.
Each victim’s sacrifice still resonants as a bellwether, each of whom altered New York City.

The facades of the former Asch building are alphabetized vertically and one hundred forty-six bells are dispersed based on both the eleven age groups of victims and gender.
Eleven female and nine male age groups create a total of twenty different bell types.
( i.e. There are two bells each for fourteen, twenty-six and thirty-one year old age groups which equal a total of six bells, all of which are female. In the largest age group of victims, twenty-three bells represent the eighteen year olds, of which 22 are female bells and 1 is a male bell. ( see chart below ) )

Bellwether City is suspended, her sound dwells in the air, and in all who hear the Triangle Fire Memorial.

Concept :
SOUND
An idiophone creates sound primarily by way of the instrument's vibration, without the use of strings or membranes.
( Bells & triangles are both in the idiophone sound category. )
The twenty bell types of the Triangle Fire Memorial are shaped from three dimensional conical triangles.

Site :
TWO FACADES & TWO CITIES
The Washington Place & Green Street facades are each divided into two sections.
The street level to the second floor are the transparent void bells.
The third floor to the tenth floor are the solid bells.
Each victim’s name is written above their bell type in both sections of the memorial.

Material :
COPPER & SLUMPED GLASS
Beryllium copper ( traditional material for triangle instruments ), for solid bell units.
Slumped Glass technique uses the solid bells as molds for casting void bell units.

Maintenance :
HUMAN PERFORMANCE
Annually on the morning of the Triangle Fire anniversary, the bells on the third to the tenth floors will be removed from both the Washington Place & Green Street facades.
The bells will be placed inverted at street level parallel to their corresponding facade.
At 4:45 p.m. each March 25th the one hundred forty-six bells of the Triangle Fire Memorial will be struck simultaneously.
The bells will remain inverted at street level until the morning of March 26th.

 
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Status: Competition Entry
Location: New York, NY. US
My Role: designer & writer
Additional Credits: s. h. fumanelli - designer & digital processing

 
competition board : Bellwether City - ( Triangle Fire Memorial )
competition board : Bellwether City - ( Triangle Fire Memorial )
Bell types per Victims based upon age groups.
Bell types per Victims based upon age groups.
Sound builds a memorial...as the Bellwether's movements are noted.
Sound builds a memorial...as the Bellwether's movements are noted.
Casting a shadow for 102 years...now, for the first time, it can be heard as well.
Casting a shadow for 102 years...now, for the first time, it can be heard as well.
Panoramic view @ Washington Place & Greene Street, NYC - ( aka Bellwether City ).
Panoramic view @ Washington Place & Greene Street, NYC - ( aka Bellwether City ).
Rain is in the forecast for Bellwether City...a procession is too.
Rain is in the forecast for Bellwether City...a procession is too.
Bellwether City is located just to the east of Washington Square Park...one hundred forty-six souls fill its streets.
Bellwether City is located just to the east of Washington Square Park...one hundred forty-six souls fill its streets.
A facade memorial in Bellwether City...built within NYC, just east of Washington Square Park.
A facade memorial in Bellwether City...built within NYC, just east of Washington Square Park.
Reflection of Washington Square Arch in facade of Bellwether City.
Reflection of Washington Square Arch in facade of Bellwether City.
NYC in figure / ground & Bellwether City highlighted.
NYC in figure / ground & Bellwether City highlighted.
Elevation Oblique of Triangle Fire Memorial - ( aka Bellwether City ).
Elevation Oblique of Triangle Fire Memorial - ( aka Bellwether City ).
Looking outwards from Bellwether City's filigree...with the Empire State Building just to the right of its periphery.
Looking outwards from Bellwether City's filigree...with the Empire State Building just to the right of its periphery.