Ol Glory is an installation that required very little materials from inception. Construction brick, wooden dowels, paint, stones, and a concrete mixer is all that was required. However, with a zero waste approach in mind, the design team dimensioned the 50 different dowel lengths to respond to both an aesthetic objective of an undulating flag, and a sustainability objective that wanted to maximize use the available dowel to generate the least amount of waste possible.
Despite not having a strong sustainable approach, the project also focused its effort in using natural materials, such as clay and wood, that were readily available to the client locally and at a low price.
There is inherent history in the streets of Philadelphia, a history that inspired us to design an installation that would both serve as a cultural marker, and as an architectural component.
Located in Philadelphia, cornerstone of America, the bricks become the foundation for an installation. Ol’ Glory is a reinterpretation of Betsy Ross’ Flag in the city where it was first created. However, other than what the flag itself stands for, this installation also acts as an acoustical wall, lowering the reverberation in the marketplace of Sugarhouse Casino through the brick’s and the wood’s unified material properties.
Ol’Glory is composed of 4550 dowels manually cut by the design team into 50 different lengths. The dowels were then dipped in a bucket of colored paint, and tumbled in a concrete mixer through a process that weathered them similar to the city’s streets. Each one of the 4550 dowels was installed individually into a 20 feet tall wall made of roughly 300 bricks. The brick’s unique trait - its perforations - is exposed, becoming the support and foundation for the dowels and the enabler of the installation. Once installed, the dowels formalize an undulating Betsy Ross Flag. Hundreds of hours of intense team work transformed simple dowel rods into an activate element within this casino.
Installed in the Casino’s Marketplace, one of the busiest areas, Ol’ Glory is able to bring the strong and robust urban streetscape of Philadelphia into the interior of the building through the use of Wood and Brick.