Bear Creek Village clock tower converted to new art installation
By SAMANTHA PAK
Redmond Reporter Reporter
July 9, 2012 · 12:27 PM
With a number of new businesses opening in the last couple of years, Bear Creek Village in Redmond has received a much-needed boost since its once-vacant days a few years ago.
One of the latest items in the shopping center — which is located in the 17000-17200 blocks between Avondale Way and Redmond Way — to receive a makeover has been the tower on the Redmond Way side of the plaza.
Steve Emery of Colliers International in Seattle, the property management company overseeing Bear Creek Village, said in addition to bringing in new businesses, they wanted to enhance what they already had.
He said the old tower structure, which resembled a clock tower but wasn't a clock tower, was deteriorating and needed to be remodeled and updated. Emery added that while coming up with concepts for the tower's new look, they wanted to tie in Bear Creek and include some sort of water element to the art installation.
The result is a structure about 30 feet tall with eight-inch wide strips of swirling steel to resemble flowing water. While the blue steel strips are new, the piece uses the tower's existing base and four corner pillars.
"We wanted to try and use it instead of tearing it down," Emery said.
The planning for the new installation, which should be complete by the middle of this month, began in March.
But before this piece was designed, Bear Creek Village's signage was updated.
Franklin Ng — an associate principal with Kirkland-based Freiheit & Ho Architects, the firm hired for the remodel — said like the tower installation, they wanted to tie the new signs back to Bear Creek. The complex's three new signs (two on Avondale Way, one on Redmond Way) now feature a silhouette of a bear and will be lit to enhance their visibility from the street.
Ng said Freiheit & Ho mainly works in commercial architecture with the occasional re-imaging and rebranding work, but this was the first time his firm has done an art installation.
He said one of the challenges of the project was coming up with a concept that captured the essence of Bear Creek Village that would enhance the quality and overall feel of the center.
"The funnest part is to just see it all come together," Ng said about the project reaching its completion. "It's always nice to see your work become real."
In addition to Freiheit & Ho, R P Art in Seattle worked on the fabrication for the tower installation and CS Sign Corp in Bellevue and Vancouver Sign Group worked on the design and fabrication for the complex's new signs.
Emery said work on Bear Creek Village began with new businesses such as Ross, Ulta and Sport Clips and has also included landscaping throughout the plaza, which began in fall of 2011.
"We've completely re-landscaped the entire site outside the perimeter," he said.
Emery added that they will also work on enhancing the buildings with new paint jobs to create a more cohesive and uniform look throughout the complex.
Bear Creek Village has almost reached full occupancy and only has two vacancies at the moment — a 720 square-foot space and a 2,900 square-foot space.
"And at that point, we'll be 100 percent occupied," Emery said, adding that it speaks well for the center to have a full parking lot.Contact Redmond Reporter Reporter Samantha Pak at firstname.lastname@example.org or 425-867-0353, ext. 5052.