For Portland Parks and Recreation’s Willamette Park Redevelopment Project, the landscape architecture firm of Mayer/Reed designed four entry markers made of metal gabions filled with rocks, fronted by artist-etched faceplates, and topped by thick clear and blue glass capstones.
Mayer/Reed named Bullseye Studio as the fabricator of the glass in the bid specifications after being inspired by a visit to the Bullseye Glass Resource Center. Bullseye Studio shared how various design ideas could be constructed, and Mayer/Reed walked away with ideas for their capstone.
After the construction company Steel + Timber won the bid for building the gabions, Bullseye Studio began fabricating the 210 lb capstones by purposefully choosing the glass form known as cullet in order to create both large, dramatic bubbles and flowing veils of tiny bubbles. Irregularly shaped segments of blue sheet glasses were laid amongst the cullet in such a way as to suggest rushing and flowing waters. The capstones were fused upside down so that large air bubbles would be trapped in between the glasses and then would rise and push up through the blue glasses for a more dynamic effect.
Each capstone measures 24” x 24” x 4.5” and has a top bevel. Each was polished on all sides, using a combination of CNC machinery and hand finishing. The precision afforded by the machinery allowed Bullseye to create an angled facet on the front of the capstones in order to accommodate a metal faceplate.
The gabions and capstones were installed in August 2017. During the day each glass block casts gorgeous color onto the river stones held in the gabion.