Parking in Color
2009, Fort Worth Convention Center, Parking Garage
Fort Worth, TX

“Parking in Color” is a large-scale environmental artwork, the 11-story parking garage at the Fort Worth Convention Center. Fort Worth’s most melodic building, it is located at 1200 Houston Street. It is an example of Janney’s “Urban Musical Instruments” series, in which buildings become living structures as a result of interactive technology.

As part of “Parking in Color,the building’s facade is enlivened by the Janney trademark of multi-colored glass that appears on each corner of the 11-story structure and in the center of the Throckmorton Street façade. During the day, these glass “fins” cast blue, plum, teal, salmon and other colored shadows over the façade, allowing the sunlight to “paint” the building surface. At night, the fins’ shadows are generated by a series of low-energy LED fixtures. This work is an extension of Janney’s exploration into the “hidden music” inherent in architecture—from highlighting the rhythmic pattern of the glass façade to the movement of the pedestrians throughout the tower waiting areas and elevators.

Central to “Parking in Color” is a score of environmental sounds indigenous to the Fort Worth region.  As part of the 11–story elevator tower, it is heard through individual audio speakers on each floor. Each time someone enters the elevator tower, he is serenaded by an ever-changing “sound-scape” of Fort Worth including crickets, birds and the rodeo. When he pushes the elevator button to call the elevator, a melodic “trill” is triggered followed by a second melodic trill as the elevator arrives at the floor. Once inside the elevator, he continues to hear the sounds of Fort Worth with slight pitch variation depending on the floor. When the elevator arrives at the ground floor, the doors open to a unique set of sounds. Rarely do the same eco-sounds repeat within a single time frame to make this space an ever-changing refreshing experience.

Christopher Janney collaborated on elements of the building’s design with project architects/engineers, Jacobs, Inc., Brent Byers, FAIA, LEEDS, principal in charge.