Confluence + WaterYard
PRESENTED BY DASHBOARD, IN PARTNERSHIP
WIth BEN WOLF, Nikita GalE, BNIM Architects
+ Adam Jones Construction
West Bottoms Neighborhood- Kansas City, Missouri
1427 W 9th St, Kansas City, MO
Opened on June 7, 2017
A two-part project composed of a large-scale public sculpture & public park /
gateway / pedestrian thoroughfare into Kansas City, Missouri's West Bottoms neighborhood.
Located at the entrance to the West Bottoms neighborhood by way of the Lewis and Clark Viaduct Bridge (Highway 24), Dashboard presents Confluence + WaterYard -- a gateway park (WaterYard) framed by large-scale sculpture and water feature (Confluence) created by artist Ben Wolf.
Confluence is a site specific public artwork which mimics the nearby 'confluence' of the Kansas and Missouri rivers. The project uses locally sourced and repurposed materials within the West Bottoms, such as rail line, deconstructed shipping containers, and a deconstructed water tower. Each material used in the project references various important historical and current identities of Kansas City (and specifically the West Bottoms neighborhood).
The sculpture stands at 25 ft tall, and 60 feet wide, and was sourced entirely from local materials. The limestone base was quarried only miles from the project site. Artists incorporated steel from an 100-year-old water tower recently removed from the nearby Hobbs Building.
In addition to the specialized materials, because West Bottoms is the second largest shipping yard in the United States, the team had a multiplicity of locally salvaged materials to create with. Artists used deconstructed shipping containers from the area as the main materials for the sculpture and color palette; the colors are integrated organically to symbolize a split in the rivers-- the continued green hue of the Kansas River, and blue hue of the Missouri River. The rail lines used for the project were either salvaged in the area and donated by Kansas City Southern, or unearthed on site and utilized for the project.
A visual metaphor of two rivers, the blood lines of ancient and modern life, merging together whole from halves is a reminder of the true power of collaboration. The Confluence exudes an industrial elegance founded in expressive disregard towards the rigidity of its material origins. Holding in it's hearth reverence and admiration for the stories told in time through the residual markings and scars inherent to the history of salvaged objects. As rivers have been and will be, The Confluence creates a space for contemplation and exuberance, where raucous celebration and pensive conversation will always have a home."
- Artist, Ben Wolf