Across the Market, Below the Sky, Up the River

Site: Downtown Redding, CA

Artists: Jeanine Centuori & Russell Rock

Assistant: Mihran Keolyan

Client: City of Redding and Renaissance Redding

This project celebrates the removal of the roof over the mall and the reintegration of this pedestrian space with the nearby urban fabric.  The associated art plan indicates a series of media-based art projects that employ the sets of concrete columns that once supported the roof.  These columnar groupings would become loci for unique art installations.

This plaza design for a downtown redevelopment reinvigorates a leftover pedestrian mall space that had once been Market Street, the main street of Downtown Redding.  It that has several components: a bench, informational emblems, a shade structure, and historical photographs of the initial incarnation of the street.  The location is adjacent to a refurbished art deco theater and provides an axillary meeting spot before and after events.

The river-like bench winds through the plaza space. It has linear LED strip lighting on either sides of its entire length for a striking presence at night.  This bench is created in segments, a line that is broken periodically by markings in the ground that bridge both sides, stitching the opposing façades together.  Like the river, the degree of curvature of the bench changes throughout, creating a variety of seating opportunities and points-of-view.  Embedded in the vertical surfaces of this bench are a series of round metallic emblems bearing images and inscriptions of local flora and fauna: wild strawberry, monkey flower, grand collomia, California black oak, douglas fir, sugar pine, peregrine falcon, mountain tanager, Calaveras warbler, chinook salmon, steelhead rainbow trout, Sacramento pikeminnow, and others.  Additionally, there are ceramic tiles containing images of historical photographs of Market Street and its stores set into the top of the bench.  These photos are used with permission from the Shasta Historical Society’s digital archive, and the Society’s headquarters are located within one of the storefronts along this new pedestrian space.

It is a bright, color injection into the fabric, with additional lighting so that it may be used well into the evening.  Together, these components comprise a story of the nature and culture of Redding, while creating a new amenity, a gathering place.