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Image Details

Bob Adams

Copper Falls

Project Description:

Phoenix artist Robert “Bob” Adams created this project utilizing the city of Scottsdale’s downtown streetscape design guidelines. This southeast corner was identified for either a stand-alone or integrated artwork. Adams’s goals for the project were twofold:

1) To oversee the use of the downtown segment’s art screen designs so that a clean and pleasing implementation was followed, with the primary focus being within the framework of the railings around the canal.

2) To create a public artwork out of the canal’s waterfall feature, replacing the old façade and scuppers in a way that harmonized with the segment two designs, bringing a strong aural component to this lively central feature of Scottsdale and preserving views of the mountains and other nearby public artworks.

Art screens with the design for downtown float within the framework of most of the guardrails surrounding the canal. Seating was created on the bridge facing west toward Soleri Bridge through a simple cantilever extension of the art panels. The face of the waterfall was raised to the current height of the guardrails on top, making the artwork more visible to passing traffic.

Backlit panels of frosted glass provide an elegant backdrop for the different sized metal domes attached at varying levels. Canal water hits the domes and enhances the sound of falling water, which also gives them an aged patina. The primary audience for the aural element is the person on the bridge.

**The artist and the design team for Copper Falls are aware of the volatile nature of the canal water. The materials were specifically selected to naturally react and respond to the untreated water, as well as the extreme weather conditions of the Valley. There was never any illusion or intent that the resulting art would remain pristine and unchanged. The patinas are expected and intended to form and change over time. The intent is for all of us to embrace the process of these changes and impacts from both the man-made and natural environment. Copper Falls is regularly maintained, and the water is turned off during the intense heat of the summer months. The artwork and the falling water are as much a process as a visual form, and two distinct elements—process and structure—are principal to the project.


Location7201 E Camelback Rd, Scottsdale, AZ 85251, USA

ArtistBob Adams

DatesCompleted February 2015

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