Tap Route - CODAworx

Tap Route

Submitted by Illarion Gallant

Client: Chard Developments

Location: Victoria, BC, Canada

Completion date: 2018

Artwork budget: $100,000

Project Team


Illarion Gallant

Rusnak Gallant Ltd

Steady Hand

Twyla Rusnak

Rusnak Gallant Ltd

Clear Thinker

Josh Leslie

Rusnak Gallant Ltd


Tenacious taproots provide stability and dynamic growth for many tree species of British Columbia’s Garry Oak Meadows and Westcoast Rainforests.
A tap root is the core structure that creates stability while facilitating the uptake of nutrients and water for growth in our trees. On our rocky island, tenacious taproots wind through and around rock outcrops and into cracks to create environments that foster a succession of plant colonies to flourish.
Modernist development in downtown Victoria, BC during the 1960’s and 1970’s saw residential neighbourhoods replaced by a matrix of office and retail buildings. Any vestige of community was removed. During the day the core was populated by office workers and by night a more aggressive lifestyle ensued. In more contemporary times many homeless have taken up residence in the City’s downtown core.
Current development motivation to repopulate the downtown core led to recent construction of the Yello condominium. Tap Route, held high on the façade of this building, is a sculptural metaphor expressing that this new residential building aims to create and support a strong residential community in Victoria’s downtown core.


The visual strength of Tap Route climbing up the facade of the Yello building, to a height of 160 feet, provides a new cultural landmark for Downtown Victoria. It works as both a place marker and a part of the community’s wayfinding system. The integration of Tap Route into the overall Yello condominium design is important for Public Art in Victoria. This artwork aims to support and define the urban condition through its layering into the urban fabric. Its grand scale and central location affords it the opportunity to raise community awareness of the cultural relevance of meaningful public art works. The community is beginning to understand that public art can go beyond decoration by highlighting important cultural narratives within the public realm and contributing to the cultural growth of Victoria.


As Artist, Designer and General Contractor of my sculptural projects, I work from preliminary sketches to develop several small-scale maquettes. The final form is realized through discussion with the Architect and Client/Owner and I integrate my Structural Engineer’s contributions to ensure an approved engineered form. Using the final maquette my Engineer resolves the sizing of components and determines mechanical attachments to the building/site.
During fabrication of Tap Route, I placed the sculpture’s connectors in the wall forming to be cast in place by the Building’s Contractors. After the concrete wall was stripped, our surveyor went to the roof of the building across the street and shot exact locations of the fastening points as installed. He laid these points out on the floor of the fabrication shop for the welders to work to. Installation was within an 1/8” tolerance.
I purchased the aluminum and had it flat rolled in Vancouver then shipped it to a Victoria based CWB certified fabrication shop. We worked together to assemble the sculpture referencing the maquette for every piece.
Upon completion of the fabrication, cleaning and sealing, the artwork was brought to site on a tractor trailer and installed with a 6o ton crane.

Additional Information

I have extensive project experience as an Artist and Landscape Architect working in collaborative relationships with communities, municipalities and organizations. I have over 25 years of experience as a project prime consultant, prime contractor and integrated team member. This experience has resulted in effective collaborative relationships with client teams, allied professional consultants, contractors and fabricators. I have successfully completed numerous large-scale sculpture and landscape projects across Canada with terms of reference similar to this artwork including timelines, budgets, methodology and a high standard of quality. As an Artist, my most visible body of work is large scale public sculptures. The predominant theme in this work is the continued dialogue between the landscape as natural phenomenon and the landscape as urban fabric which characterizes historic human intervention. Historic precedent of a locale is used to inform the ‘meaning’ of each artwork in a particular place and time. The success of my design /build practice is based on my ability to develop concepts and communicate these ideas clearly. My strong background in public art, construction and fabrication enables me to develop a pragmatic yet unrestrained approach to creating art.