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The Detroit Skybridge creates rainbow of moving colors between two iconic buildings

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Photo by Lance Gerber

Rain only slightly dampened festivities Saturday night, as a new public art installation was unveiled 16 stories above the street. The Detroit Skybridge—the work of artist Phillip K. Smith III—lit up an unused walkway between the Guardian Building and One Woodward. Missed it? No worries. The installation is permanent.

Photo by Lance Gerber

The bridge itself was constructed in the 1980’s to connect offices between MichCon and American Natural Resources, although it hasn’t been used in many years. The bridge spans over Larned Street, with the People Mover tracks under.

Smith drew inspiration from the concrete in the midcentury One Woodward, designed by Minoru Yamasaki, and the colors of the Art Deco Guardian Building, designed by Wirt Rowland.

Smith has created temporary light installations for Coachella and Desert X, and has permanent installations in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Nashville, and more.

The Detroit Skybridge adds color, light, and interest to the skyline, and has already garnered many great Instagram shots.

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Join us this Saturday from 8-10 pm in Spirit Plaza to celebrate the unveiling of Phillip K. Smith III's, 'Detroit Skybridge,' with performances by CutTime Players and guest poet Kevlar Afrika. Connecting two of Detroit’s most iconic buildings, One Woodward and the Guardian Building, the 100 foot long 16th floor skybridge will become a floating bar of light hovering over the streets of Downtown Detroit. Inspired by the modular white concrete of Yamasaki’s 1962 skyscraper and the mosaic of color within the 1929 Guardian Building, Smith has created a unique color program for this significantly scaled project. Composed of shifting gradients and moving planes of light, this precisely paced installation will merge art with architecture at the scale of the city. 'Detroit Skybridge' is in partnership with Library Street Collective, Bedrock Detroit, Quicken Loans Community Fund and Wayne County. ⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀ “Detroit Skybridge is another example of how underutilized spaces can be reimagined for the benefit of the public. Phillip’s use of light and color, along with his understanding of architecture and scale, make this a compelling project for the city,” says Anthony Curis. ⠀⠀ ⠀⠀ Smith is drawn to sites where he can engage directly with the existing beauty of the surroundings, whether that is on the edge of the ocean, the middle of the desert, or in the midst of urbanity. “This project presents an entirely unique art experience outside of the traditional bounds of the museum or gallery, positioning itself within the public realm for all to experience freely. By day, the Skybridge will continue to be seen as its historical self within the architecture and massing of Downtown. But by night, it will become a beacon for the beauty, creativity, and innovation of Detroit,” says Smith.⠀⠀ ⠀⠀ Video by Lance Gerber. Photo by Evan Gonzalez.⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀ @phillipksmith3 #phillipksmithiii #detroitskybridge @anthonycuris #librarystreetcollective

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Guardian Building

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