International Request for Qualifications (RFQ)
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1 Alhambra Plaza, Suite 617
Coral Gables, FL 33146
Attn: Cindy Birdsill
Entry Deadline: 8/23/13
Images - Minimum: 3, Maximum: 6
Total Media - Minimum: 3, Maximum: 6
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International call is not limited to Florida artists. Commission for Outdoor Civic Monuments Incorporating a Fountain Feature, Segovia Street Traffic Circles, Downtown Coral Gables, Florida.
This commission is open internationally to all qualified artists and is NOT limited to Florida artists. A qualified artist is an individual or team generally recognized by critics and peers as a professional practitioner of the visual arts and.or civic design, as judged by the quality of that professional practioner's body of work, MFA or equivalent, experience, past public commissions, exhibition record, publications, receipt of honors and awards, training in the arts, and production of artwork. All qualified artists or teams must have at least five (5) years’ of demonstrated professional art experience with regard to outdoor public art and/or civic art; must have experience with design and fabrication of fountains; and must have completed a project of at least $200,000 or greater. All submissions must be of original completed work. A team may include a wide variety of professionals who deliver artistic services such as sculptors, designers, gallerists, architects, engineers and other design professionals with focus on civic design and aesthetics.
The total budget is $1,040,000, which includes all costs such as, but not limited to, initial concept fees, travel, materials, fabrication, transportation, insurance, installation, and engineering. Artists are encouraged to visit the site before submitting their application. We would like to acknowledge that this project has received support from the National Endowment for the Arts. In addition, Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden is providing the value of $35,000 in in-kind horticultural services.
3. Project Description
Creation of new permanent public civic art monument sculptures, which shall incorporate fountain features. The artworks will be located within two recently completed traffic circles that serve as a major gateway to downtown Coral Gables with more than 22,000 visitors experiencing the art daily. Consideration will need to be given to the relationship between the artwork and the surrounding buildings, open space, landscaping and civic markers. The artist should explore the topics of the natural world, the entry to downtown, and/or the community. As a pairing, the traffic circles create a sense of sequence as you drive or walk past them, and of evolving views as you approach the traffic circles from different directions. The Segovia circles are ideal locations for large scale art that mark these entry points, and which can relate to each other as well as historic civic art surrounding the circles. The circle at the intersection of Coral Way is designated historic and is known as Segovia Plaza. Segovia Plaza was originally constructed between 1923 and 1925 and has several civic monuments surrounding the traffic circle, including pedestal fountains framed by voluted wings. Any piece in Segovia Plaza should complement the existing civic monuments and will require approval by the Historic Preservation Board.
4. Design Parameters
The circles are shown on the attached plans and images. Please note that landscaping and pavers may be removed if desired. The dimensions of the circles are:
NE/SW direction: length 96 feet
SE/NW direction: length 79 feet
Total area: 5,899 sf
NE/SW direction: length 105 feet
SE/NW direction: lentght 85 feet
Total area: 7,012 sf
Distance between the center lines of the circles- 432 feet
It is required that the surface of the area within 5 feet of the back of the existing curb along the entire circumference of the circle must be constructed of a structural material suitable to withstand the load of vehicles driving on such surface. In addition, no structures may be placed within 10 feet from the back of the existing curb along the entire circumference of the circle. The artist may design the surrounding drivable surface and landscaping to enhance the artwork.
The artwork design should address the following:
• Create a recognizable landmark
• The integration of landscaping in the circle with the artworks
• Inclusion of fountain features
• The works should be designed mostly for vehicular experience, and not as an encouragement for pedestrians to walk to the circles
• Consideration of the surrounding historic civic art
• The transition from the residential area to downtown
• The scale of the surrounding buildings
• The approach from various directions to the circles
• The visual connection between the circles
• Materials that are conducive to South Florida weather
• Engineering must take into consideration South Florida weather
• The community’s cultural and aesthetic values
• Applicable laws, statutes, codes, regulations
5. A Brief History of Coral Gables, FL
Coral Gables was founded in 1925 by visionary real estate developer George Merrick, who predicted the City would serve as a gateway to Latin America. Indeed, the City has developed as an international City with a significant number of multinational corporations, approximately 20 consulates and foreign government offices. Bacardi recently opened its international headquarters in the Gables. Today, residents and businesses locate here from all over the world. The City is centrally positioned between North and South America, and is within four miles of Miami International Airport, and 6 miles of the Miami Port.
The City is largely designed with Mediterranean Revival architecture and features. George Merrick initially marketed the residential developments “Castles in Spain” set in the South Florida tropics. The residents are extremely proud of their heritage, and of the classic European aesthetic experience exuded by the City. This is a City that values natural beauty, its history, community and family.
One of the most prominent landmarks in the City is the Biltmore Hotel, which is designated as a National Historic Landmark. The City is also home to the DeSoto Fountain, widely considered one of the most beautiful fountains in the State of Florida. In addition, the City is home to the University of Miami, which is ranked by U.S. News & World Report as 38th among the nation’s top tier institutions. The internationally renowned Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden is within the City limits, and has a history of exhibiting world class artists each year such as Will Ryman, Dale Chihuly, Mark Disuvero, Yayoi Kasama, Botero, Roy Lichtenstein and many others. More than 60% of the City’s residents have a Bachelor’s Degree and approximately 30% have a graduate or professional degree. The City is known for its love and support of cultural events, being the first city in the area to implement a Gallery night, and supporting four live theaters, two art cinemas, three museums, and numerous musical performances and art shows.
The City has been designated as a Tree City USA by the Arbor Day Foundation for the past 27 consecutive years. In addition, in 2010, The Wall Street Journal listed the City as the sixth most successful walkable suburb in the United States, and in 2009, Forbes magazine ranked Coral Gables among the top 10 cities to live well in America. In 2011, the City was found to be one of the six most beautiful towns in America by Rand McNally and USA Today.
The major approaches to the City are largely marked by historic civic entrance arches, plinths, and decorative fountains, urns and benches made of such materials as oolitic limestone, concrete, smooth stucco, wood, and wrought iron, all weathered to give these items a centuries-old Spanish look. The theme of “Gateways” is prevalent. In addition, the City is unusual in South Florida because of its lovely tree canopy. The City is full of beautiful live oak trees and banyan trees that create tree canopies that cover many of the residential streets.
The City itself was planned with a combination of the Garden City and the City Beautiful traditions.
6. Scope of Work
The commissioned artist will be selected based on previous experience with the design and production of exterior public art and fountain installations. Applicants are expected to have the technical capabilities to design and install such projects, including providing maintenance instructions. The artist selected shall be expected to collaborate as needed with site engineers, designers, and other necessary parties for successful installation of the project. Commissioned artists are permitted to work with outside contractors to fabricate the actual work of art. Artists will be required to maintain the project schedule that is established.
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