The homes within a few blocks of Brooklyn’s Avenue H Station House probably aren’t quite what you would imagine. Most people think Brooklyn architecture as a towering walk-up, a classic brownstone, or railroad style apartment buildings. But just around the corner from the subway platform that has stood since 1905, century old Queen Annes and Victorian homes line the streets adorned with their signature sweeping bay windows, colorful stained glass, slate rooftops, and of course, a vital part of any American home built of the time, wraparound front porches.
Ed Kopel, a Brooklyn based architect with offices only a few blocks from the station, proposed this project to the MTA Arts For Transit a few years ago. The MTA’s Brighton Line Rehabilitation project has been ongoing on since 2009, working to upgrade a long list of platforms. Brooklyn Bucolic, Kopel’s installation, is inspired by the unique element of the station house’s front façade: it’s wraparound porch. Seven fixed and brightly patinated bronze Shaker style rocking chairs in varying sizes able to accommodate children and adults, scatter the north and east side of the house. Each original rocking chair, slightly different than the next, were hand carved in maple by JP Parnas Woodworking out of Massachusetts. Molds were made of every chairs’ element, followed by waxes, and eventually they were cast in bronze. The subtle bend of the chairs’ profiles up to the detail of the wood texture and lattice woven seats translated beautifully into metal.