On the evening of Thursday, November 13, temperatures in Austin, Texas, dropped below freezing. In spite of the fact that most locals are unaccustomed to this degree of frigidity, more than 1,000 people turned out for Creek Show: Light Night 2014. The event, which ran from five in the evening until midnight, celebrated the unveiling of a series of light installations along Waller Creek between 5th and 9th streets.
Organized by non-profit group Waller Creek Conservancy, Creek Show is a prelude of sorts to the ongoing plan to transform the flash-flood prone waterway into a chain of public parks designed by Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates and Thomas Phifer and Partners with lighting design by Linnaea Tillett. It features five “illuminating works of art” by local architects and landscape architects, including Baldridge Architects, Design Workshop, Jason Sowell, Legge Lewis Legge, and Thoughtbarn, which turned in High Water Mark (pictured at top). Located under the 7th Street Bridge, High Water Mark is composed of 100-foot-long undulating, electroluminescent wires suspended 20 feet above the waterline.
Hidden Measures is by University of Texas landscape architecture professor Jason Sowell. Sowell stenciled messages in photo luminescent paint along the creek that describe the waterway’s physical dimensions and hydrologic infrastructure.
Baldridge Architects set up a colonnade of sorts of LED tubes called Tracing the Line. The succession of vertical lights rise out of the creek, indicating its path through this segment of downtown Austin.
Legge Lewis Legge’s Light Bridge is made up of a rope and hanging electroluminescent wire that arc over the water, suggesting a bridge.
Flow by Design Workshop (below) is a series of tarps strung across the creek that are illuminated by color changing lights. The tapestries roll and flutter in the wind, emulating the coursing of the water below.