Chevy Chase Center

Chevy Chase Center, Chevy Chase, Maryland

AGAINST THE DAY

 

Chevy Chase Center, Chevy Chase, Maryland

POD

To develop the concept for the plazas outside of Washington, D.C., the artist began by looking into local history and exploring the neighborhoods. He was immediately taken with the many stately old trees and gracious homes with their generous open spaces. These streetscapes were part of an ambitious and thoughtful long-range vision for Chevy Chase at the turn of the 19th century.

At the heart of the Chevy Chase Center is Johnston Park. At 9,000 square feet, the site is long and narrow, fronting busy Wisconsin Avenue. Before the development of this plaza, Chevy Chase had no designated city center, and the developers and community members earmarked this site to establish one.

Deutsch’s intention was to create a plaza space that would engage the public and serve as a landmark of community pride. The plaza’s central stone sculptures in Against the Day create an inner dialogue and together symbolize three human characteristics. The large white granite circular form, with a keyhole or window, draws viewers in from the street. This sculptural element symbolizes curiosity. A contrasting form in the composition is a floating red granite curve that abstractly references the human heart. This element symbolizes motivation, which is at the core of human desire. The third form punctuating the plaza is a large black granite monolith. This element symbolizes strength and wisdom. A dramatic line of water, which speaks of transformation, connects the three granite forms and brings movement and energy to the plaza.

An 84-foot curved stone wall architecturally defines the plaza’s edge. Along this wall are five large white granite benches in conversation with one another in the shade of a large white oak tree. These benches face a 45-foot sculptural water feature comprising four forms of granite and bronze. When walking up the stairs from Wisconsin Boulevard, one can look through the sculptural eye with a view to the past and to the future.

Farr Park is a more intimate plaza within the center complex. Twigs, pods, seeds, and leaves from the neighborhood’s 130-year-old trees provided inspiration for Pod, the park’s sculpture of granite and water.

• Titles and date: Against the Day, Pod, 2007
• Location: Chevy Chase Center, Chevy Chase, Maryland
• Materials: Granite, bronze
• Dimensions: 9000-square-foot plaza
• Commissioned by: The Chevy Chase Land Company, Chevy Chase, Maryland
• Architect: William K. Hellmuth, AIA, president HOK and Suzette Goldstein, AICP, HOK, P.C.
• Landscape architect: Don Hoover, OCULUS, Washington, D.C.
• Art adviser: Francoise Yohalem, Bethesda, Maryland