© Tom Crane

Cor-Ten Cattails // Archer & Buchanan Architecture

Berwyn, PA, United States

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Text description provided by the architects.

Made of 328 8ft above grade Cor-Ten steel blades set 8 inches apart, the Cor-Ten Cattails sculpture weaves throughout the front yard of the Arts & Crafts inspired home in Berwyn, Pennsylvania, ‘opening and closing’ around trees in a deliberate serpentine layout. Combined with the angular profile of the stanchions, the winding plan can play some interesting tricks on the eyes; from some points the fence looks solid, and others it looks blade thin, sometimes projecting a wave effect of light passing through.

© Tom Crane

© Tom Crane

© Tom Crane

© Tom Crane

During strong winds it actually becomes kinetic, an allusion to blowing blades of grass.Each stanchion stands 8’ above grade, 2’ below, weighs 80-90 lbs, and is 5/8” thick. The profile of the stanchions is an irregular trapezoid that abstractly relates to forms taken from the house. No stanchion is parallel with any other except at the gate, and full scale templates were made to help the contractor set each one individually in concrete at its own angle.

© Tom Crane

© Tom Crane

© Tom Crane

© Tom Crane

There are no horizontal connections or supports between stanchions in the fence. The gate has only two horizontal bars to help span the driveway, and each leaf weighs 1200 lbs. Fence stanchions were cut with a plasma cutter from sheets of COR-TEN steel and gate stanchions were cut and then welded to solid machined steel bars..

© Tom Crane

© Tom Crane

© Tom Crane

© Tom Crane

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