We were recently selected by the City of Kirkland to create a design proposal for the reuse and adaptation of a series of salvaged parts from the iconic MV KALAKALA , a ferry that plied the waters of Puget Sound from 1935-1967. We publicly presented our proposal at an open house on the evening of January 31st and received much positive feedback as well as suggestions and questions.
The City is also currently seeking feedback via an online survey here
[click on images in the slideshow to see enlarged]
Following is our proposal narrative:
The story of the Kalakala, rising from the ashes of the Peralta to her salvaged state, is a mixture of commitment and indifference. Though her form is gone, her story and her visage resounds in collective memory. We propose the careful transformation of what remains back to the origin of her namesake, a mythic bird.
In her story we see the Greek Phoenix, a bird that regenerates from its ashes. Many cultures share this myth. The Egyptian Bennu, a rebirth deity, took the form of a heron. A wading heron making her home close to shore among the reeds seems a fitting image to guide the Kalakala’s metamorphosis.
We would use the salvaged pieces to create a neighborhood bridge entitled Kalakala: Flying Bridge. This bridge will be both art and infrastructure, echoing its last incarnation as a ferry – for a ferry is a floating bridge.
Sited along the East edge of Terrace Park, where city land abuts the Cross-Kirkland-Corridor, Kalakala, Flying Bridge becomes a connection to the Lakeview neighborhood, Terrace Park, and Lakeview elementary school. An experiential public artwork to transport the Kalakala legacy forward.
The bridge is low to not restrict neighboring views and internally illuminated for safety at night. Interpretive panels on the salvaged wheelhouse tell the history of the Kalakala and neighborhood shipyards. Its routes could be on a map of the sound, orienting viewers through its portholes overlooking Lake Washington.
Kalakala: Flying Bridge is a departure into the future and a return to origins.