- Athens Embassy Entry Garden
US Embassy, Athens, Greece
The Foundation for Art and Preservation in Embassies (FAPE) is a private non-profit organization dedicated to placing American art in US embassies throughout the world. FAPE selected Michael Singer to provide an entry garden sculpture for the American Embassy in Athens, Greece. A new building addition design by Kalman, McKinnell and Wood Architects was constructed adjacent to the existing Embassy Building designed by Walter Gropius. The entry garden, located between the buildings, is viewed from the new building, its terrace and from above on the entry bridge. The sculpture is a seventy foot long marble and precast concrete platform-like structure emerging from below grade at one end and rising three feet from the ground level at the other end. The solid forms of the piece combine to reference a whole, as if the piece were a foundation for something once present. The piece has been said to have archeological references, an uncovering of something lost and mysterious.
Water emerges from a hidden reservoir into a runnel at the high end of the piece and runs as a shallow wash over textured cast aluminum surfaces creating a golden patina over time. The water continues its course over a broader cast aluminum spillway, ultimately falling into a deep cistern below the ground. Groundcovers and succulents are planted within the piece and have slowly begun to spread in and around the sculptural forms. A few stone ledges in the piece protrude and form areas that are intended for seating; sculpted pavers lead the way to these seating areas. The sculpture is placed within a grid of olive trees and lavender hedges that encompass the surrounding garden.
Artist/Designer: Michael Singer
Singer Studio Project Team: John Guminak, Al Chapman,
Bob Hannum, Jason Bregman, Paul Eliot and Sean Springer
FAPE Project Manger: Jennifer Duncan
Engineering: Calen Colby, Daniel J. O’Wril, H. Todd Lackey,
and Mercer Bonney at Oest Associates Inc.
Foundation Fabrication: Thomas A. Weber OBO
Athens Project Director and J.A. Jones International
Building Architect: Kalman, McKinnell and Wood Architects
Entry Garden Landscape Architect: Carol Johnson Associates
Photography: David Stansbury