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Ripley Folly at 1150 Ripley Street

Hord Coplan Macht


Ripley Folly

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Room or Space


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Project Description

Ripley Folly is located along a seam of railroad + industrial land in Silver Spring, Maryland. This installation creates a place amidst a burgeoning residential area, taking cues from both its industrial past and its refined future.

Encouraging pedestrian movement along Ripley Avenue and visually connecting to the residential entry, the plaza draws both pedestrians and patrons of the Capital Crescent trail. As a highlight of the plaza, a large scale kinetic installation encourages participation through interaction, and creates an area of respite along the trail.

Movement on the folly is achieved simply by applying a force to the steel pipe pendulum. This horizontal movement is transferred up and through the axle and translated into vertical movement of the attached steel armature and frosted resin canopy. It is through this interaction that users are allowed to manipulate the physicality and vary the spatial condition created under the canopy itself.

The counter-balance, comprising over 650lbs of weathering Corten steel, ensures fluid movement and a return to equilibrium. While the moment forces acting on the structure are intense, the assemblage of parts is so precise that fluid movement can be achieved in a simple breeze, or the force exerted by a small child.

The cog makes reference to industry, railroad and bicycling, and symbolizes motion. CNC plazma cut and hand assembled, this industrial relic has been used throughout the site installation and reinforces the branding of the plaza.

Digital design processes and hand fabrication come together in this unique installation. CNC cutters, paired with old-world steel forging, and welding techniques blend the past with the present to create an installation that will be around long into the future.

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