JW Marriott Art Plaza
Artist: Jeff Laramore
Work is completed on the JW Marriott Art Plaza in an area known as Marriott Place in downtown Indianapolis. This is the sight of the much anticipated JW Marriott.
White Lodging, the primary developer of Marriott Place Indianapolis, is hopeful that this plaza will become a landmark and a lasting gift to the city. “From the beginning, we have been driven by a desire to positively impact Indianapolis, not just by developing a unique, world-class property, but also by contributing to the beauty of the city,” said Bruce White, chairman and CEO of White Lodging. “My father, Dean White, and our entire family are committed to supporting the arts community and celebrating our home state. The Art Plaza is another example of that commitment, and is something that Indiana residents will be able to enjoy just as much as hotel guests.”
Designed by Indianapolis based artist Jeff Laramore, the artworks in the plaza pay tribute to Indiana. “We wanted to make this project a landmark for Indianapolis, its convention business, and our family,” Bruce White continued. “We are proud to be Hoosiers, and selected the design for the Art Plaza because of its connection to the state.” The signature piece in the plaza is a stylized sculpture measuring over 35 ft high and 50 feet long, representing a cardinal, Indiana’s state bird, designed by Jeff Laramore and fabricated and installed by LinEl Signature. When seen from above, patrons of the illustrious new JW Marriott will get the impression the cardinal is perched on a Tulip Tree branch, Indiana’s state tree, as envisioned by local landscape architecture firm Landstory (formerly CBA).
The hardscape in this small area is a sight to behold. Intergrally colored concrete with an exposed Sand Matrix Finish gives this plaza a high quality finish, fitting its illustrious surroundings as a premiere hotel in this bustling downtown location. Monstrous foundations and a large amount of utilities servicing 4 area hotels are hidden beneath this exquisite plaza. Custom formed walls and intricate stairs, all with embedded lights, elegantly carry out the plaza’s “Proud to be a Hoosier” theme.
The construction of this project was completed in a 6 month period, alongside multiple larger scoped projects. Because the art plaza is to be a showpiece of the 4 hotels, owners and designers asked that it be constructed behind black drapes to obstruct the public’s view of the space before the project’s unveiling. With the project’s proximity to a major thoroughfare (Washington Street) out of the downtown area and the bustling jobsites surrounding the project, staging of materials and scheduling of delivery (both of materials and concrete trucks) were essential.
From the precise cast-in-place stairs, the elegantly curved retaining walls, or the exacting locations of embedded lights, it is easy to see the high level of craftsmanship that went into this project. Intricate forms were created to attain the sophisticated stair design with sharp angles and curves, working around the previously poured Tulip tree leaves, all atop foundations, and utilities for 4 popular downtown hotels. Foundations, water supplies and drains were also installed beneath the plaza, to accommodate the 60 ft waterwall that borders one side of the plaza. Designed by Jeff Laramore and fabricated by Santarossa, this mosaic waterwall was made out of over 1,000 individual pieces of granite and marble to represent peonies, Indiana’s state flower.
This project is a tribute to our great state. It is a showcase of local craftspeople that have showcased their skills to creating a lasting tribute to the state they live, work and play in. The JW Marriott Art Plaza is an incredible addition to our downtown, to be enjoyed by local residents and visitors of our fine city.
The JW Marriott Art Plaza is a significant project because of it’s prominence in a prime Indianapolis Tourism area. This project is an excellent example of the high end look that is achievable with concrete, and the diverse applications that concrete can be used for. In this project alone, over 400 cy of concrete were used in 10,300 sf. This concrete was used for massive foundations, utilities servicing the 4 adjacent hotels, and the aesthetic look achieved for the waterwall and art plaza.