This project extends the journey from the Manhattan Ferry Terminal to Staten Island onto the new Courthouse, turning the Memorial Green into an integral part of the New York Harbor experience. Providing a unique opportunity, the project reveals glimpses of the experience of immigration as a journey rather than through the static experience of being inside a museum.
The faceted, serpentine rock, a geological characteristic of Staten Island, provides the language of 2-dimensional and 3-dimensional interventions on the site. Multi-faceted steel and glass columns, six feet tall, are an extruded variation of this hexagonal pattern. The columns operate as markers that engage visitors and tell the stories of immigration. As the column is approached, the visitor sees a ruby red facet of glass the height of the column on one side with a clear glass panel opposite (tempered glass with a Plexiglas cover layer). A red glow emanates from the glass onto the person standing near the column. When the sun shines directly onto the glass a long red mark is cast on the adjacent ground surface. At night a lighting element inside creates a red glowing column of light. The inside of each hexagonal column is lined with mirrors so that people are compelled to stop and notice the text as it multiplies, like looking into a kaleidoscope.