Cochran Park bench\sign

  • Location City of Council Bluffs, Iowa
  • Status Built
  • Date 2015
  • Collaborators

    Min | Day

This competition-winning public art installation reconceives urban signage as a place in itself. The sign is an active entry portal to Cochran Park and a meeting place for the neighborhood – “meet me at COCHRAN”. The sign is large enough and broken into separate sections to become a spatial feature in the park – visitors can inhabit its diffuse interior and be inside the text. In addition to identifying Cochran Park with its super-graphic, the bench|sign is a social condenser, an area for small gatherings and spontaneous interaction. This permanent addition to the park affords a new public space for individuals and small groups not necessarily interested in the specific sporting activities already accommodated in the park.


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The sign’s text is an anamorphic projection, an image (in this case, text) that is fully legible only from a privileged orientation. The separated planes of the sign hold portions of the letters of “COCHRAN” and as one moves east <–> west, the word gradually comes into focus and then breaks apart again as one passes. This feature emphasizes the location of the park on the busy 2nd Avenue thoroughfare where the sign engages drivers and passersby on foot. In a sense, the sign is like the train cars that once passed by the site.

The clear powder-coated bench|sign is fabricated from welded 3/8” aluminum plate with flanges anchored to concrete footings. The letters of the name “COCHRAN” are formed from a diffuse pattern of holes cut through the panels with a CNC-plasma cutter.

Plan, with shadows

Project Awards

2017 AIA Nebraska Merit Award for Architectural Detail

2019 AIA Central States Region Merit Award-Small Project

Photography By Photographs by Colin Conces
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