colored stainless steel
Millbourne Train Station, Millbourne, PA
The City of Philadelphia is home to the oldest elevated train line in America. The station at 66th and Market in the borough of Millbourne is home to a diverse population predominantly from the subcontinent of India and surrounding southeast Asian countries. Several of these cultures have myths about peacocks. In one of these myths, peacocks surround the gates of Paradise.
The irridescence of the colorshifting stainless steel, is similar to the dichroism of a peacock feather. Although quite complex, and used extensively in aerospace industries, this is a surprisingly eco-friendly process involving high voltage and thin layer of vacuum-deposited titanium.
The sculpture is nostalgic - so steampunk vocabulary is a good fit. The over-engineered exposed hardware is a nod to the industrial era of trains. It is the oldest elevated train line in America, so Erland + Kaman wanted to reference that in a contemporary way.
The motif is very close to symmetrical, like a heraldic element. There is a neo-Victorian feel. The feathers are abstracted into a floral form reminiscent of an ivy-clad brick building.
The people of the Millbourne community refered to them as peacock flowers.