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MTA Arts & Design


Atlantic Terminal

Allan and Ellen Wexler

Overlook, 2009


The new MTA Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) Atlantic Terminal in Brooklyn features an artist/architect collaboration in a soaring, light-filled atrium. The project architects, di Domenico + Partners collaborated with the artists, Allan Wexler and Ellen Wexler, to create a special place of arrival in the entry pavilion which reaches from the street level down to the ticket office, waiting room and LIRR and NYC Transit subways.

The Wexlers created a two-story sculptural balcony and wall that visually evokes the adventure of travel. Titled Overlook, its rocky granite form cantilevers above the main concourse at the Terminal, referencing scenic overlooks often found in national parks, where travelers are encouraged to pause and take in the larger scene. The bands of granite also refer to nature found underground in layers of rock. Allan Wexler commented, "We sought to create the experience of viewing an urban public space as if it were a nature setting, using granite tiles mathematically pixilated to create nooks and crannies found in rock walls." Ellen Wexler said, "We wanted to create a space where one can stop and take in the dynamic energy, which is as exciting as stopping to take in the Grand Canyon or other major vista".

Overlook is framed by a pair of sweeping staircases and a glass and stainless steel balcony/railing that flows with the architecture of the space, which promises to be a Brooklyn landmark, akin to Grand Central Terminal's famous clock.

Allan Wexler and Ellen Wexler have created public art works nationwide, often using familiar forms imbued with new meanings and functions, fostering a new way of looking at or using the specific site. The materials used often are construction materials, as in the case of Overlook.

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