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Coastal Engineering Company of Orleans Cape Cod
February 06, 2017

Creative Placemaking

What happens when engineers and artists get together?

Creative Placemaking Thumb

Sculptures that can withstand 120 mile per hour hurricane force winds!

Coastal Engineering Company designed a foundation plan for "Tides" sculpture by Steve Kemp and a site plan for "Whale" sculpture by Sydney Ahlstrom. The sculptures are a part of the Creative Placemaking project, partially funded by the Massachusetts Cultural Council Adams Arts Program and aimed at revitalizing communities, creating jobs, growing creative industries, and increasing engagement in cultural activities by Massachusetts residents and visitors.

"Tides" started as plaster-cast Cape Cod Bay tidal sand patterns, which were transferred into stoneware clay reduction and then fired to 2400° with copper patina glaze. The sculpture is now installed in Hyannis HyArts Cultural District. "We're creating ways to make local art accessible to the public, a real part of people's experience. We want to connect to what makes the Cape so special - in this case, the tidal flats we love to walk..." -said Clare O'Connor,  Director of Economic Initiatives for the Cape Cod Chamber of Commerce.

"Whale" is a majestic 8-foot sculpture made out of mild steel sitting on a 1-ton fieldstone, which depicts a humpback whale jumping above an imagined ocean. Now a prominent town landmark, it is located on Cove Road in Orleans across from Left Bank Gallery. According to Ahlstron, "The sculpture was designed with Cape Cod's signature ambiance in mind, aiming to engage residents and visitors as they walk downtown and remind them of the surrounding waters which are so integral to our community."

"The goal of our creative placemaking initiative is to enhance the ‘sense of place’ one feels while experiencing each unique area.” said Wendy K. Northcross, IOM, CCE, CEO of Cape Cod Chamber of Commerce. "Coastal Engineering gave us his time and expertise to help ensure these pieces meet the reality of being outside for years to come. Their work was critical in helping us move forward with the Town on the placement and curbing of the Whale structure, as well as making sure that the Tides installation would pass the Risk Management division requirements"

Coastal Engineering is hopeful that our participation will enable the Chamber of Commerce to continue their efforts in developing the cultural districts of Cape Cod.