1155 Ripley St
Silver Spring, MD 20910
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William Cochrane, artist
Two Roads pays tribute to pioneering environmentalist Rachel Carson, who altered our perceptions of nature. A open air glass room materializes and dissolves within an urban meadow. Indigenous plantings and paving weave in and out of a light steel structure holding semi-mirrored glass panels with engraved text passages, standing like the pages of an unfinished book. Some bays are open and frame the landscape surrounding and growing into the plaza.
The engraved text is drawn from Carson's writings on the environment. Two powerful passages are highlighted in overlapping dichroic glass letters that float within the primary panels, where they appear and vanish as the viewer moves through the space, sometimes breaking the light into its spectral components.
The room of transparent mirrors reflects the viewer, the trees and surrounding buildings, rearranging them as the perspective of the viewer and the light changes. In this fluid overlapping of natural and architectural elements in the glass, the viewer's image is the only constant, reflecting Carson’s call to personal responsibility for the environment.
The studio collaborated closely with the landscape architecture firm Oculus on the design of this artwork. Oculus also designed the urban meadow that surrounds the work.