Faculty/Alum's 'Gilded Gates' Installed in Rittenhouse Square

Bike racks designed by Master Lecturer Jason Lempieri MID '04 (Industrial Design) celebrate Philadelphia’s legendary ironwork

May 6, 2016

“Gilded Gates,” a series of ironwork bicycle racks designed by alumnus and Master Lecturer Jason Lempieri MID '04 (Industrial Design), were recently installed in Philadelphia’s renowned Rittenhouse Square. A self-described catalyst, Lempieri is the founder of multidisciplinary design and research studio RethinkTANK llc.

Commissioned by the Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia and funded by Anne and Matt Hamilton and Marsha and Jeffrey Perelman, “Gilded Gates” celebrate Philadelphia’s legendary ironwork while providing security for bicycles. The painted metallic gold, water-jet cut filigree set inside the solid black frame showcases the city’s ironwork legacy and reinforces the historical urban value and site contexuality of the project.

Using historic documentation and modern technology, forgotten ironwork patterns are reborn to serve as functional urban edges with a functional twist. Artisans like Yellin, Furness, Haviland and Trumbauer designed magnificent ironwork in Philadelphia that has been collected and preserved in art institutions across the nation, including at the Barnes Foundation. Their creative output, coupled with the past three centuries of urban metal work, gave the City of Brotherly Love a decoratively appealing yet functional edging. “Gilded Gates” returns the decorative glory that has defined the edges of our city for generations.

In addition, the Bicycle Coalition has also commissioned a unique double-rack to be placed across from Parc restaurant, also at Rittenhouse Square. That project is 30 percent funded via GoFundMe.

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