LOCATION: San Diego, California, U.S.

CLIENT: Unified Port of San Diego

TEAM: Bermello Ajamil & Partners. Paul Basile Fabrication, DCI-Engineering

Tidal Radiance was funded through the Port of San Diego’s Percent for Art program. Adding drama and another focal point to the North Embarcadero, the dynamic display is visible to Port Pavilion visitors, pedestrians strolling along the Embarcadero, and motorists traveling on North Harbor Drive.


For the Port Pavilion of Broadway Pier, a 45-foot by 16-foot exterior wall sculpture, Tidal Radiance, combines an environment of projections to evoke tides and sea life.


To set the stage for a dramatic transformation during the night, sculptural elements - custom cast-glass and metal forms - remain neutral by day. To accomplish this, Light Projects collaborated with the architect on material selections responsive to sunlight.

After sunset, Tidal Radiance becomes a shimmering, organic form, seen from near and far. The artwork is visible to boats, pedestrians, and motorists along the Embarcadero promenade. The interplay between artwork and viewer is integral to Tidal Radiance. Along the perimeter of the terminal, the spectator becomes a participant in the luminous stenciled projections.


Chromatic seasonal illuminations are evocative of the San Diego Bay culture. Luminous greens represent the whale watching season and glowing golds the cruise season. During the moon cycles, the full moon is expressed by pale blues, while the new and quarter moon emanate deep blue hues. This element of controlled changeability - combined with color symbolism - allows the artist to create public art that not only pleases the eye but communicates and displays nuanced messages about the environment we live in.

© 2020 by Leni Schwendinger Light Projects LTD. All Rights Reserved.

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