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Geometric Reconfigurations

Public art structure celebrates the immigrant experience

If you happen to be near the Armenian Heritage Park on the Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy Greenway in Boston, on Sunday morning, April 2, you will have the opportunity to watch the sixth annual reconfiguration of the abstract structure. Made of steel and aluminum, the split rhomboid dodecahedron will be lifted and pulled apart by a crane in two halves and reshaped into a new and different sculptural shape.

Armenian Heritage Park Abstract SculptureTaking place from 7:30 a.m. to approximately 11:45 a.m., the annual configuration is symbolic of all who were pulled away from their country of origin and came to the Massachusetts shores, establishing themselves in new and different ways.

The sculpture sits atop a reflecting pool, where its waters wash over its sides and re-emerge as a single jet of water at the center of the park's Labyrinth, a circular winding path paved in grass and inlaid stone. The labyrinth celebrates life's journey, while a single jet of water at its center represents hope and rebirth. Art, Service, Science and Commerce are etched around its circles in tribute to the contributions made to American life and culture.

The supporting base for the sculpture is 200 square feet, and its tallest configuration has been 16 feet high. The sculpture's frame is 1/4-inch structural stainless steel, and the triangular panels are 3/4-inch aluminum with a clear hard coat anodize, then baked with powder coat, clear coat and a high-gloss finish. DCHN, Woonsocket, R.I., supplied the hard coat and JapEnameLac, Chelmsford, Mass., supplied the powder coat. The structural support pins are 2-inch diameter, solid stainless steels for the male pins, while the female pins are 3-inch diameter, fixed anchor with 2-inch core machined to receive the 2-inch diameter male pins.

The structure was designed so it could be entered at two specific panels, which permit access to unfasten the required panels for strapping and lifting by crane. The 25 configurations are scheduled with instructions in "A Guide to the Annual Reconfigurations."

Armenian Heritage Park abstract sculptureMetal was used for its capability to reconfigure and the engineered capability of its supports to resist seismic force and overturning. The stainless steel frame resists deterioration, while the 3/4-inch aluminum panels resist denting, oil canning and defacement. Each stainless steel angle of the frame has a saw cut at two locations, which allows water to weep and avoid sitting on the angle leg. The 3/16-inch spacing between each triangular panel allows water to weep and air to circulate within the structure. The panels are cleaned and polished each year.

Completed in April 2012, the entire Armenian Heritage Park cost $2.6 million, while the geometric structure is a pro bono project by A&A Industries Inc., Peabody, Mass. Cost of the annual reconfiguration, including the crane and police detail, is supported by The Charles G. and Doreen Bilezikian Fund, an endowed fund of Armenian Heritage Park.

A&A Industries oversees the annual reconfiguration, based on the annual reconfiguration in the guide, prepared by the park's architect/designer, Donald J. Tellalian, AIA, of Boston-based Tellalian Associates Architects & Planners LLC.

Barletta Heavy Division, Boston, was the general contractor, and A&a Industries was the metal installer for the original fabrication, while Jerry Rigging Corp., Ashby, Mass., is the metal installer for the annual reconfiguration. The structural engineers were Gregorian Engineers, Belmont, Mass., and Simpson Gumpertz & Heger, Waltham, Mass. The abstract structure, which is recognized by the City of Boston, Boston Arts Commission and Greenway Conservancy as Public Art, is owned by the non-profit Armenian Heritage Foundation, Belmont, Mass.

The rain date for the reconfiguration is April 23.

Armenian Heritage Park abstract sculptureArmenian Heritage Park abstract sculpture

Armenian Heritage Park abstract sculpture

Armenian Heritage Park abstract sculpture

*Reconfigurations (from top): 2012 Inaugural Configuration-Photo by Peter Vanderwarker; 2013 Configuration-Photo by Matt Conti; 2014 Configuration-Photo by Matt Conti; 2015 Configuration-Photo by Matt Conti; 2016 Configuration-Photo by Matt Conti


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