Crisscross Signal Spire

The Crisscross Signal Spire marks Dudley Square as an historic urban crossroads and acts as a sculptural beacon that ties past traditions to present-day communication habits. Taking cues from the role of church spires and clock towers, which communicated and marked time through bell chimes or illuminated clock faces, the Crisscross Signal Spire creates a contemporary, three-dimensional impetus for Boston’s municipal government and its citizens. The spire uses real-time lighting and digital interfaces to translate open-source on-line content from the Citizen's Connect system into a pattern of lighting behavior.

The structure of the spire is a braided array of tubes woven together to create an expressive, self-buttressing bundled tower. The tubes converge and diverge to evoke imagery of railway crossings, such as the MBTA subway network, and also act as a vertical timeline of Boston’s transformation from three distinct towns into a city of 21 neighborhoods. Roxbury, one of the three original towns, is geographically central within the bundling of Boston neighborhoods, which speaks to its relationship with the larger metropolitan community. Crisscross Signal Spire projects city’s geographic genesis onto the future of Boston’s growth, exchange, movement, and communication.

Credits

Design Team

Alex Marshall
David Costanza
Sofia Balters
Anna Kaertner
Type
Public Space
Year
2014
Location
Boston
Published in
The Boston Globe
Harvard Magazine