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Photo: Noel Korten


Live Oak Branch Library, Santa Cruz, CA

This project is located a short distance from the former residence of Alfred Hitchcock. According to local lore, Hitchcock’s inspiration for his 1963 film “The Birds” came from a real life incident that occurred there. A large number of bird species still inhabit the site and it remains one of the area’s most distinct characteristics. In addition, inherent references to the “Arts and Crafts” movement provided an opportunity to develop and insert nature based decorative motifs into the architectural plans for the entire library that in turn come to life in the form of projected bird shadows populating the facility. 

Smaller sconces depict single life-size birds standing or perched. From behind each silhouette, a shadow of a bird in flight. The intent is to bring the elements of nature from the outside to the inside – into this library a place where people think, daydream and imagine. Found objects are placed in addition to the lighting elements throughout the library, creating multiple sub-narratives and suggesting a range of perceptions about nature.



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