Ogden, Utah is a quaint town with just under 90,000 people about one hour north of Salt Lake City at the foot of Wasatch Mountain. This September, city officials hosted a ribbon cutting ceremony for The Corner, a new plaza by Sasaki Associates and lo LandArch, a Salt Lake City landscape and urban design firm, at the intersection of Ogden’s Washington Boulevard and historic 25th Street.
The urban design project by Sasaki, lo LandArch, and Hogan & Associates Construction transformed the prominent intersection into a multi-purpose node. According to a press release, the architects took an existing building on the corner and turned it into “an art-scaped plaza” fitted with a large public art installation, permanent seating, vibrant lighting, and a pin-up wall to announce community events.
The ribbon cutting ceremony was accompanied by the release of New Range, a public art sculpture by the New York–based multi-disciplinary studio Hou de Sousa. The designer claims that the work is “deeply rooted” in the site’s identity of place; the installations’ silhouette mimics the nearby Wasatch Mountains and local architecture.
The polychromatic palette at New Range draws from nearby buildings such as Ogden’s Egyptian Theater and Ogden High School, an art deco structure. Its jagged form is full of angular cutouts that form passgeways through which pedestrians can move through the sculpture. Seating platforms placed throughout the piece add to its interactive nature. New Range evokes similarities to past work from Hou de Sousa, including the firm’s work for the Flatiron Public Plaza Holiday Design Competition, for which they conceived Ziggy, a “kaleidoscopic” installation that used iridescent cord and painted rebar.
“We are privileged to share in this re-opening celebration and bring a sense of movement and discovery to The Corner Plaza with New Range. We hope the public enjoys the sculpture’s dynamic play with one’s vantage point as they approach and move around the work,” said Hou de Sousa founder Josh de Sousa in a statement.
The Corner was conceived to add to the vitality of the downtown. New plantings, seating arrangements, and ample, open space make it a new destination for the local community to gather or just hang out.
“The form of the design was inspired by the geometry and color of the New Range sculpture. The plaza acts as a hub of activity and gateway between downtown and the Nine Rails Creative district and creates a variety of spaces for people to meet and gather, adding another layer of vibrancy to Ogden’s ongoing revitalization,” stated Io LandArch Principal Shalae A. Larson. “With artistic inspiration from Hou de Sousa’s work New Range, the Corner Plaza stands as a dynamic city landmark reflective of its surroundings.” Retail and dining amenities are open six days a week at The Corner. More information about scheduling and programming can be found here.