Public Projects
Three Spaces of Respite
A Public Art Commission for the City of Emeryville
1333 Park Avenue, Emeryville Civic Center, Emeryville, CA

For this project, I provided a place for Emeryville employees and visitors to find respite from the urban fray. Under a canopy of trees adjacent to a new wing of the Civic Center complex, I created a series of three labyrinths. These are sandblasted into three circular concrete pads, each with accompanying concrete benches. Visitors can sit and focus as they visually ponder the paths of the labyrinths which all lead to a center spot. The designs each reference a different culture—one comes from motifs on Hopi Indian baskets, the second references Lucca Cathedral in Italy, while the third is patterned after a labyrinth near the ruined church of John the Baptist in Northampshire, England.

Local residents and city employees who participated in a city-sponsored survey selected the designs from a small informational and graphic booklet that I designed. Images of different labyrinths from various societies with information about their histories were included in the booklet. Participants were able to vote for those they most appreciated. The three with the most votes were created.

Project Team   


Labyrinth stencils
Thomas Swan Sign Co.

Labyrinth sandblasting
Golden Gate Sandblasting

Concrete furnishings
Durastone Architectural Concrete Forms

Special thanks to City employees and neighbors for voting on final labyrinths

©2012 Sheila Ghidini