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Good Fences Make Good Neighbors

Engineering trust

Project Facts

Location New York, New York
Owner Public Art Fund Inc.


In bringing award-winning artist and renown human rights activist Ai Weiwei’s artistic vision to fruition, our team was entrusted with the support necessary to breathe life into his iconic “Good Fences Make Good Neighbors” installations. With a design focused on achieving efficiency, aesthetics, and integrity, we meticulously crafted structures capable of assembly within a two day timeline, all while maintaining the intricate detail and powerful symbolism envisioned by the artist. We overcame site-specific challenges through seamless coordination with city agencies and existing infrastructure, ensuring the timely installation. This important project underscores our trustworthiness in handling globally significant projects.

About the project

We were given the unique privilege of supporting the work of Ai Weiwei, in two of his Good Fences Make Good Neighbors installations. The title is taken from a proverb cited in Robert Frost’s “Mending Wall”, where the need for a boundary wall is being questioned. The work is a social political commentary and draws on Ai WeiWei’s own experiences in exile camps. Ai chose this title so exhibit visitors will discover that the Good Fences are not impenetrable barriers but powerful additions to the fabric of a diverse migrant city.

The first of installation, Gilded Cage, is a cylindrical steel open lattice structure which is approximately 25’ in diameter and 26’ tall located in Central Park. The second called Arch, is a rectangular steel open lattice structure which is approximately 21’ wide by 7’ deep and 36’ tall with a curved doorway through the structure and is in Washington Park.

Each structure was fabricated in China and designed as a series a stackable steel plate structures which could be shipped in containers to site and field bolted together to from the structure.  The design was geared toward minimum erection time, 2 days for each, while still meeting the aesthetic intent to achieve a high density of small plate members.  Our team expertly addressed the unique challenges of each site including coordination with existing infrastructure and various city agencies in order to ensure a timely installation of the artist’s work.