Potomac Yard

North Pavilion: Exterior of the elevator tower front.

South Pavilion: West, south, and east façades at the mezzanine level.

A Familiar Trip, 2023 (North Pavilion)
Rob Ley
Painted aluminum
A Subtle Trip, 2023 (South Pavilion)
Rob Ley
Painted aluminum
North Pavilion
South Pavilion

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A major goal of this project was to integrate the artwork into the station architecture in a way that responds to the motion and movements of users. There is an opportunity to use the transparency of the glass to create an artwork that can be read from both sides of the station. Equally interesting, is an artwork that can capture the natural light coming into the building through the clerestory windows.

Conceptually, these artworks are motivated by the understanding that often, the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. In these artworks, each individual artwork element is unique in size and bend angle, but together the pieces work in concert to form an aggregate composition. When seen from afar, the artworks can be understood as a large arrangement, yet when viewed up close they are understood as an assembly of many small parts. The network effect in the compositions reveals the complexities and patterns that support the complexity and order of the natural environment.

Rob Ley's artwork will be the first in a US Transit system to introduce biophilic elements and provide credit towards LEED Transit accreditation of a Metrorail station.

View Rob Ley's presentation about his vision for the artworks at the Potomac Yard station.

Rob Ley Studio explores technology as a means of examining the unique conditions and patterns of public space. By engaging the character and context of a location, the studio creates dynamic public artworks. Rob Ley currently teaches graduate and undergraduate design studios and seminars at the University of Southern California (USC). Ley has lectured and exhibited internationally on the topics of public art, design, technology and innovation for the public sphere. He holds a Master of Architecture from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) and a Bachelor of Science in Architecture from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.

This project was funded by the City of Alexandria as part of a capital project at the Potomac Yard Metrorail station.