In Sydney, Australia, a historical protected train station has found a gorgeous way to repurpose their old wooden escalator. Difficult to maintain, wooden stairs on an escalator have long gone out of fashion, but artist Chris Fox has made them into something that will preserved forever.
Treehugger reports that the piece will now hang indefinitely above commuter's heads in Wynyard Station. Called "Interloop," the piece is made from 244 wooden treads and weighs a total of five tons. It took an entire team to install.
Fox wanted "Interloop" to remind people of the material's original function and acknowledge the history of the space.
"The historic timber-escalators... held a sense of time, journeys and travel before they were removed this year," he said. "Interloop resembles, in part, the original escalators. The artwork explores the idea that people are stationary on a escalator whilst also traveling, allowing for a moment of pause that occurs mid-motion. The sculpture resonates with people in this state, referencing all those journey that have passed and are now interlooping back."
According to The Sydney Morning Herald, 100,000 pass through the station everyday, and the city expects those numbers to go up to 150,000 within the next ten years. Though there were likely not nearly as many commuters back then, the station has three of its escalators in 1932. The sculpture reflects the timelessness of a space that has seen so many people come and go.
Seeing the station get refurbished with more efficient metal treads was a big change, but because of "Interloop," people's memories of the way it once was will continue to hang over their heads for a long time to come.
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Here are my initial thoughts on Loop's first round.