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Consolidated Rental Car Garage (ConRAC)

Printable Version Printable Version


Artist: Christian Moeller in collaboration with Fentress Architects
Completed in 2010

The San Jose Consolidated Rental Car Garage (ConRAC), located between the Guadalupe Freeway (SR 87) and the new Terminal B, is a prominent visual element of the airport expansion. The ConRAC facade depicts hands raised to the sky in gestures of “welcome” or “farewell”. As the artist states “Hands are one of the most expressive parts of the human body and have long facilitated technology, communications, and innovation.”

Christian Moeller is an internationally-acclaimed artist, formerly a practicing architect, recognized for transforming standard construction materials into works of art. He has developed a body of artworks that he calls “Bitwalls”, which rely on the mapping techniques and plotting technologies that are familiar to Silicon Valley industry.

Information about Christian Moeller

Design and Fabrication of Hands
The ConRAC’s size and prominence presented the challenge of creating a compelling architectural facade within the budget established for the project. The Public Art Program, in partnership with the Airport Development team, commissioned Christian Moeller to collaborate with Fentress Architects, the ConRAC designers, to explore innovative design solutions. The only constraint was to design within the established budget for the facade. With general contractor Hensel Phelps, the team developed an artwork that is integral to the building facade function and design.

The facade of the garage was constructed from two layers of architectural metal fabric. The outer layer of 2" galvanized metal mesh serves as a canvas for the image, which is made of permanently affixed white plastic disks (pixels). The inner layer of 3/8" mesh provides a backdrop that also serves as a pedestrian barrier for the garage facility.

Fast Facts:
  • 107 chain link mesh panels
  • 368,718 industrial-grade plastic snap-on disks
  • 1240’ length x 61’8” height

Hands Design and Fab image Hands Design and Fab image

Two machines were specially designed and built to fabricate this project. The machines precisely mapped the plastic disks onto the metal mesh to create the image. The disks were then hand-snapped into place. Once complete, each of the panels was installed by the base project contractor, as part of the planned construction.

Hands Design and Fab image Hands Design and Fab image

The Faces of Hands

Hand Models & the Pixel Crew
The hands of 53 Silicon Valley residents, aged 4-87, posed for the “Hands” image. You can see the faces behind their hands and learn a bit more about them by visiting our Flickr page. Participating community members represent a wide spectrum of the South Bay community.

A small, but dedicated crew snapped the hundreds of thousands of disks onto the fence over a three month period. Meet these invaluable contributors and learn more about the Faces behind Hands on our Flickr page.

Last Modified: 01.10.13