|The exceptional sustainability that many tenants demand goes beyond the construction, appearing in a building’s artwork. Las Colinas-based Julie Richey Mosaics has ridden the wave of support for green in the form of public artwork that's LEED friendly.|
Julie (cleverly, her name is the same as her company’s) says adhesives, grout, cement, and mortar can meet LEED specs and recycled materials can be used help meet LEED criteria: “People are seeing it as more of an imperative." She's working on public art benches for the Houston suburb of Bellaire. The project funds eight benches and four of her designs were selected, with two completed. Since the economy has slowed building the last two years, her work has been 80% residential in luxury homes larger than 20k SF.
This sculpture, a mosaic of the San Francisco skyline called Night Shirt, won Julie the jurored international Orsoni Prize 2009. To date, Julie’s biggest project is a mosaic medallion in the floor of DFW Airport Terminal D. Another big project is a baptismal font in Virginia featuring four areas, representing the four evangelists. For floors, Julie says the use of non-skid ADA-approved materials can be beautiful and functional in high-traffic areas. The trick is using the proper adhesives and materials. The glass in mosaic work is low maintenance, lasts forever, and doesn’t fade, she says.
Public art catches the eye, Julie says. “When I think of the Hall Office Park in Frisco, I think of the outdoor sculpture collection. If you have an iconic piece at the entry point to draw people in, it gives the site a distinction over others," Julie says. Here's a mosaic along the outdoor patio at the Chic from Barcelona restaurant in Dallas. The 54-foot long, 3-foot high piece was created from drawings made by Julie’s daughter’s class when they were studying Picasso’s portraits.