Terra Fugit provided an opportunity for the artists to fully design a section of a new regional park in a fast growing, completely new community in South Florida. The design explores the nature of the land, time, and human occupation and development. The park offers a place for the community to both relax and reflect on the evolving landscape.
The 200 acre regional park site is located at the western edge of Broward County, near the Everglades. In the late 90’s this area was still open wetlands. Since then, there has been rapid residential development in the areas surrounding the site. With so much human development, the site now bears little resemblance to what it once was.
The waterway, excavated to obtain fill material for raising the grade of the surrounding site, has become the central focus of the park. Terra Fugit, is built around a circular bay on this waterway.
Land and water are the elemental components of this park. The movement of the continents, glaciers and sedimentation created the great limestone shelf of this land mass. Fresh water permeates the limestone just below the surface and moves imperceptibly toward the broad, invisible river of the Everglades. The six inch layer of topsoil, the “muck”, supports all of the indigenous life. The landscape and underliying geological structure evolved through hundreds of millennia, but was completely transformed by humans in just a few months. This power is worthy of both celebration and great caution. Our project is both participation and critique.
The construction of the Park itself is also a complete transformation. Once marshland, the grading, water bodies, vegetation, and even wildlife habitats of the site have been completely re-built and formed by the hands and machines of humans.
The Earth Bowl
The Earth Bowl uses large coral rocks from the excavation of the site that could not be used as fill. Sitting inside of the Earth Bowl offers a commanding view of the park while the curvature of the Bowl gives the sensation of being enveloped by the landscape. It is an amphitheater of memory for viewing the sky, land, and water.
The Preserve maintains a small, undisturbed area of the marshland that used to cover the whole site. It offers a place for slower paced change, memory and contemplation. Interpretive signage along the perimeter rail describes the process that transformed the site and the indigenous vegetation that was preserved here.
The Memory Path
The Memory Path wraps around the park, connecting the Preserve and Earth Bowl. The cement is imprinted with artist created fossils and text about different cycles of time from the human and the natural world to help visitors relate to the surrounding life.
The Landing & Burper
The Landing floats on the surface of the water, perforated metal flooring and the reflective ceiling emphasize the feeling of floating. The experience gives visitors a sense of physically connecting to the water.
Visitors activate the water event, the Burper, with a hand pump mounted on the Landing. The pump creates a five gallon bubble that breaks the surface of the water and sends rings from the center of the circular bay. The ripples mark a fleeting moment of time.
Fossils & Seats
Terra Fugit explores geological time with fossil-rich boulders a recycled waste product from the site’s excavations. The boulders have been carved into seats, exposing the rich detail of the fossils. The seats follow the Memory Path and are shaded by flowering trees.
- Artists: Mags Harries & Lajos Héder
- Location: Broward County, FL (2006)
- Client: Broward Cultural Affairs, City of Miramar
- Size: Four acre installation in 200 acre park
- Materials: Earthworks, preserved plantings, coral-fossil seats, patterned concrete, interpretive plaques, aluminum observation deck and pump to create ripples in the water
- Budget: $8,000,000 park/ $215,000 art components
- Allied Artist: Cherie Saleeby