Motif: Paseo Birds - CODAworx

Motif: Paseo Birds

Submitted by Leah Brown

Client: ArchCo Motif Apartments

Location: Fort Lauderdale, FL, United States

Completion date: 2020

Artwork budget: $79,998

Project Team

co-design, lighting design, fabrication

Peter Symons


Principal Architect

Edsel Arnold

Preston Partnership

Senior and Project Manager

Jason Jacobson

ArchCo Residential LLC


A flock of over 100 CNC-cut and enameled steel birds, mounted by steel rods to the ceiling of Motif Apartments’ Paseo, along with painted ceiling murals, and custom programmed color-shift lighting.


The Paseo needed aesthetic enhancement, lighting, visual interest and s sense of flow. We also wanted the piece to represent mockingbirds to be part of a larger sculpture trail, the Mockingbird Trail. The architectural style of the building was inspired by the line-work of the 20's and 30's, so I took inspiration from illustration of the same time period. The development is in an arts district, so a contemporary feel was also a must.


I began by hand-drawing 15 different mockingbird designs, with an emphasis on how positive and negative space would work together to create form and texture. I laser-cut test birds of different sizes and did a site visit to determine the appropriate scale of the birds in the space, which are significantly larger than lifesized. Then we CNC cut the birds and welded them to their posts. The mural component is a series of stencils I created based off local plant life. The stencil elements work together to create organic compositions that do not repeat. The color palette was mutually agreed upon with the client to compliment other artworks being installed in the building. Color-shift lighting with custom colors and programming was installed by a professional lighting company. We painted the stencil-mural, then mounted the birds.