A tunnel's surfaces form an innovative canvas for a highly choreographed, cinematic sequence designed to tell a story, calm and inform travelers, and enhance the surrounding environment. The story of navigation on land and sea begins with the process of creating a tunnel. Excavation, scarification, digging into the earth by man, and tectonic, ripping forces of the earth are explored. Retaining wall patterns convey both deep gouges of the digging process, and sea grasses in the landscape beyond. Orange metal detailing and lighting accent raw concrete, recalling lava spilling from fractured earth. Tunnel portals crafted with Latin forms of ?navigate? in bas relief to provide texture and interest, glow like sculptural art pieces or light houses, as travelers navigate by land, sea and air.
The story of navigation beneath the sea is playfully illustrated on the Tunnel interiors, with crisp, colorful images of sea grass, turtles and sharks in the underwater landscape beyond the walls. Curious travelers can gauge their depth below water by colors, which become darker as the road dips down, and lighter as the road rises to the surface. Graphics communicate safe routes at emergency cross-passages between tunnels, where a human figure is shown below the swimming sea creatures.
The landscape of the approach roads illustrates the surrounding Biscayne Bay and Everglades ecosystems. Naturalistic drifts of a wide variety of large, native plants are arranged over the adjacent 6 acres in a conscious break from traditional linear highway design. The plantings showcase the natural coastal hammock and the wilderness setting, while serving as a frame for the architecture of the massive portal structures.
Monumental elements and details graphically communicate the place and process of navigation, and enhance the actual act of navigation. Public art can elevate infrastructure in fresh ways, reinvigorating civic space and civic pride.