Coming Ashore is dedicated to the waves of immigrants who came to New York City seeking a better life for themselves and their families.
Framed by the backdrop of the Hudson river, Coming Ashore's vertical wave rises up to crest while outward expanding reverberations come out of the ground. The vertical elements provide a visual focal point while the ground elements form an amphitheater of sitting areas for taking in the vista.
For many people coming to Riverside Park North, their first view of Coming Ashore is from 70 feet above, looking down from the elevated Riverbank State Park. Coming Ashore was developed with this aerial view in mind.
As the sun moves across the sky each day, the vertical component casts a shadow that traces the across the ground elements like a sun dial. The 4 ground elements mark the beginning of each season when the shadow aligns perfectly with its shape.
Each of the four ground elements would also be dedicated to one of the four past centuries that immigrants have been coming to New York since New Amsterdam was founded.
Our focus was to provide something ideally suited to the setting - beautiful, meaningful, interactive, and fun.
The biggest point of inspiration was looking at a simple wire loop and noticing the shadows that it cast on the table. Isolating the effect really brought out some interesting forms.
The ground elements are inspired by the outline of the shadow cast by the upright wave as it moves over the course of each day. However, over the course of each year, the length of the shadow also changes. Bringing those two elements together on every solstice and equinox, the shadow will land exactly on the outline of one ground element when the hour and minute of the day (with daylight savings-time) matches the month and day of the year.
For example, the Winter Solstice occurs on December 21st, or 12/21. So at 12:21pm on 12/21, the shadow will align perfectly with the Winter Solstice ground element.
[Sculpture Shadow Study Video]
The dates and times shift due to our 365 ¼ day solar years, so the dates are calculated from the average over the past 100 years:
Spring Equinox = Mar 20 7:28 UT (2:28am EST)
Summer Solstice = Jun 21 0:44 UT (Jun 20 7:44pm EST)
Autumn Equinox = Sep 22 16:47 UT (11:47am EST)
Winter Solstice = Dec 21 13:53 UT (8:53am EST)
These dates are also the cardinal points for the astrological zodiac, with the sun in zero degrees Aries on the Spring Equinox, Cancer on the Summer Solstice, Libra on the Autumn Equinox, and Capricorn on the Winter Solstice.
The tops of the ground elements will be made of wood planks to make it comfortable for sitting. The planks will also have markings engraved on them highlighting where the shadow will fall during the other seasonal points.
The sides will be made of the same material as the upright portion, and will have the following text written on the sides:
First Century 1609-1709
Second Century 1710-1809
Third Century 1810 - 1909
Fourth Century 1910 - 2009
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