Completed Projects

Douglas Hollis & Anna Valentina Murch​​​​​

San Francisco, CA

​​UMBRA 

Tensile fabric canopies, curved glass windscreens, benches, blue glass aggregate platform

2018

 

Charlotte's historic textile industry and the environmental benefits of alternate transportation options informed the signature station design by partners Anna Valentina Murch and Douglas Hollis.  UMBRA is Latin for shadow; as in umbrella meaning "little shadow."  The artist's title combines the practical and metaphorical nature of their artistic intent.  

Drawing from the past and looking towards the future, Douglas Hollis and Anna Valentina Murch’s modern interpretation of Charlotte’s textile history results in an uplifting signature station. Working with tensile membrane architects at Birdair, they realized their vision for the ten custom canopies using Sheerfill fabric, a technologically advanced material that is self-cleaning and was chosen for its ability to respond to environmental conditions and light. ​

 


The white passenger shelters and seating juxtaposed with the blue glass windscreens and platform have a psychological effect of suggesting coolness in a southern climate.  The use of a tensile membrane for each of the ten passenger shelter roofs was forward thinking and a demonstration of technological advancements in the industry.  In the evening, the internally lit canopies glow as the membrane reflects the light up and also down to the blue glass platform.  From a distance, the shelters appear as sculptural lanterns and welcoming beacons to the station. 



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The location of the station provides a desirable connection for students and faculty between the University of North Carolina at Charlotte Center City and its main campus at the north end of the light rail line.​ Each platform component chosen by the artists is in response to weather, qualities of light, and movement – both of people and trains.  Intentionally, the artists envelop riders in a series of art elements orchestrated to create a collectively uplifting experience. ​​


Artist Bios​

Frequent collaborators and husband and wife Douglas Hollis and Anna Valentina Murch (1949-2014) joined forces to conceive of the design for the signature station at 9th Street. Murch, a sculptor whose work emphasized the environment, completed over 15 public art projects throughout the United States and won awards both from the Public Art Network and the National Endowment for the Arts. Hollis has been exploring natural phenomena like sound, climate, and wind since he began working in the early 1970s. His public art commissions total to more than thirty projects and his work is included in the collections of the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago.​