Project team:


Client: City of El Paso, Texas/USA
Design: Ball-Nogues Studio – Benjamin Ball and Gaston Nogues
Project manager: Mora Nabi
Ball-Nogues project team: Andrew Fastman, Michael Anthony
Fontana, Christine Forster-Jones, Emma Helgerson, Cory Hill, James
Jones, Allison Porterfield, Rafael Sampaio Rocha, Forster Rudolph.
Design, fabrication and installation supervision: Ball-Nogues Studio
Engineering consultant: Buro Happold Los Angeles, Jean-Pierre Chakar, PE
Specialty fabrication and consulting: Neal Feay Co
Installation consultant: Industrial Stainless International, Tim Downing

11. Feb 2015

More than a fence

Text: Joachim Ritter
Photos: Marty Snortum, Pat Dalbin

As a rule fences are designed to keep people at bay – or out of a specific area. The “Not Whole Fence” barrier is a different story altogether. This fence, which skirts the baseball stadium in El Paso, Texas/USA, is actually very inviting. It welcomes people to come closer and take a look through it. It arouses curiosity, not only to discover what is going on behind the fence, but to enjoy the visual experience it offers per se. The way the light interacts with the aluminium extrusions is dynamic, but uses no additional controls or technology.

“Not Whole Fence” pays homage to the simpler days of baseball, of watching the great American pastime through a wooden fence. Imagine a child, peeking through the knotholes with the impressionable canvas of youth, evoked by a sense of wonder and hope, or devoted fans who cannot afford tickets, sneaking glances through small openings with playfully mischievous eyes, excited by the possibility of joyous victory or getting caught. The designers expressly wanted people to engage with the piece, to explore it by looking through its holes and examining the variation of its pattern. The goal was to inspire intrigue and delight. “Not Whole Fence” is a public art commission from the City of El Paso. Located along Santa Fe Street at the northeast corner of Southwest University Park, it acts as a buffer between the ballpark and a children’s playground. The structure serves as a sturdy partition, while also facilitating coincidental encounters with the game, spurring inspiration in children and passers-by. The design concept behind the installation seeks to monumentalize a single wooden picket by turning it on its side and zooming in to appreciate its unique grain pattern in detail. The stencil, with its undulating waves dotted by anchored knotholes, reminds us of the earthy and organic and the dreamlike all at once.[…]

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The full version of the article can be found in PLD No. 96

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