Marking the Land by Matt Fajkus, AIA
understanding of the world. The program’s tag line – “See All Sides” – implies yet another meaning that fits nicely under the same conceptual umbrella. This unique public arts initiative aims to carefully select and place art pieces according to guidelines set forth in the university’s Public Art Master Plan. That document, designed by Peter Walker Partners Landscape Architects, proposes locations for public art installations, while also adhering to the intent of Paul Cret’s UT campus master plan of the early 1930s, as well the 1999 modifications by Cesar Pelli and Associates. Cret’s master plan emphasized Beaux-Arts inspired formal relationships between architecture, open space, and reinforced symmetrical relationships, particularly with the layouts of the axial malls – effectively serving as the cardo and decumanus in Roman city planning terminology – all terminating in the Main Building. The Public Art Master Plan respects this historical spatial order, particularly in the original Forty
Photo by Paul Bardagjy; (Page 25) Photo by Jacob Termansen
24 Texas Architect
odernist sculptor Constantin Brancusi famously said, “Architecture is inhabited sculpture.” That raises the question: Is sculpture uninhabitable architecture? At the very least, his statement draws a direct comparison between the two disciplines and invites speculation about the relationship between sculpture, architecture, and the open spaces between. In 2008, the University of Texas at Austin launched a program to develop a collection of public art to enhance the architectural fabric of its campus and to bring art, particularly sculpture, out into the open. The very name of the program, Landmarks, was carefully crafted by Andrée Bober, the program’s director, to take on multiple meanings. One reading suggests that the outdoor sculpture pieces are intended as physical landmarks across the campus that signify an association with a specific place. Another reading refers to a landmark event or landmark case, an occurance that changes one’s
Destinations represent different points of arrival, whether a temporary stopping place during a student’s busy day on campus or destinations...