Tarpon Rising: Enhancing the Built Environment with Art
MIT Center for Real Estate alumnus David Marvin (MSRED ’89) recently commissioned a major public art project for the Embassy Suites Hotel that his firm developed in downtown Atlanta as a way of tipping his hat to the hotel’s new neighbor, the Georgia Aquarium.
Created by artists Ralph Helmick and Stuart Schecter of Newton MA, Tarpon Rising hangs in the hotel atrium, a towering space that narrows at one end to offer a long view of the suspended sculpture lit from above by continuous skylights. (Download artist proposal (pdf, 79K) for Tarpon Rising.)
Originally sculpted in white microcrystalline wax, the hanging sculpture consists of 1300 separate elements, each a painstaking representation of aquatic creatures – lobsters, sharks, octopi, eels, horseshoe crabs, penguins and more – all of which hang together on 1100 hand-hung cables to form a shimmering silhouette of a massive tarpon, rising. It is, in the words of Bill Nigut, Executive Director of the Atlanta Regional Arts & Culture Alliance, "a wonderful legacy for the city to have."
"The business we’re in," says Marvin, "is creating the built environment. And there’s no better way to enhance the built environment than to augment the architecture with art."
Marvin is founder and president of the Legacy Property Group, an Atlanta-based development firm. The company's flagship effort is its $200 million mixed-use project in downtown Atlanta, kicked off with the development of the Embassy Suites Hotel, and subsequently expanded with a 98-unit luxury residential condominium. The project has received numerous awards for excellence, including the 2002 Small Project of the Year award from the ULI Atlanta District Council.
Marvin has over 20 years of real estate experience encompassing hospitality, multifamily, senior housing, retail, and land development. In 1999, he received the biannual Spaulding Award from MIT’s Center for Real Estate for a graduate whose work in industry has enriched the profession.