Sun Flower Power

Palo Alto Public Art Commission installation of Sun Flowers, by Jeffery Reed and Jennifer Madden, is the first truly functional, educational AND aesthetically pleasing piece I’ve come across in this posh yet sleepy suburb.


Located on California Avenue in front of an organic grocery/deli, the piece is a collection of wind-propelled rotating canopies (resembling poppies more than sunflowers, but why quibble?) each sheltering a solar cell collector which powers the canopy light system after sunset.  Lilypad table tops are incorporated into the ‘stems’ of each canopy, providing an al fresco dining opportunity along this otherwise vehicle-dominant streetscape.  The curving slate bench/shelter is a nice feature as well, with drought-resistant grasses figuring prominently in the landscaping.  Nice.


(originally posted at in March 2005)


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