Lenfest Plaza

In an effort to increase identity along Broad Street, The Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts invited OLIN Studios to conceptualize opportunities for their streetscape, and to create an urban landscape capable of being rendered with limited resources.  OLIN combined existing elements with simple, powerful design gestures to create a unique and creatively affordable identity for the institution.  The names of notable graduates and artistic action verbs are sandblasted into existing precast concrete pavers.  Small LED lights set within the paving modify and enhance the nighttime streetscape experience.  Large seasonal banners created by students are anchored on light poles along the length of the academic buildings on both side of Broad Street.  And glowing planters set with whimsical topiaries identify the Hamilton Building as the Academy's nexus for creative thinking.

The public art contribution to the Lenfest Square promenade will be a towering 53-foot high sculpture of a paintbrush with illuminated bristles, created by world renowned American artist Claes Oldenburg, making its home at the start of Philadelphia's expanding "Museum Mile".  The monumental sculpture, titled Paint Torch, will be installed at an incredible 60-degree angle, as if in the act of painting.  A 6-foot high globe of paint will appear beside it on the ground illuminated as well at night.

There will also be outdoor seating, a stage, and an upscale restaurant in this 24-hour pedestrian plaza which links PAFA's two buildings across from the expanded Convention Center.

PAFA will hold an official opening party for the new plaza and a lighting ceremony for the Paint Torch on October 1, 2011, featuring activities and entertainment for all ages.

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