This work is part of Common Build, an umbrella initiative; learn more about it here.

This work is part of Downtown Brooklyn Partnership Design Installation, an umbrella initiative; learn more about it here.


    March 1–May 1, 2023
    An interactive public pavilion by artist Cheryl Wing-Zi Wong, with lighting design by Arup.


    March 1–May 1, 2023

    The Plaza at 300 Ashland, Brooklyn

    Cheryl Wing-Zi Wong’s COMMON GROUND is a site-specific, interactive public artwork comprised of a colorful seating landscape and floor motifs that dance across the plaza. Drawing inspiration from the geometry of shrines and sacred spaces and referencing the terraces of the site, this architectural intervention transforms the plaza into an oasis for sitting, socializing, and gathering by day and by night. COMMON GROUND creates a bold, joyous space, and offers a playable topography to embrace the here and now. As a community hub, COMMON GROUND aspires to cultivate togetherness and resilience, while encouraging moments of pause, reflection and play.

    During the evening, COMMON GROUND creates a shared synesthetic experience. The pavilion is illuminated with color-changing lighting and sensors that register environmental audio. Light animations shimmer across the sculpture in response to nearby sounds — the movements of passersby, footsteps climbing on the structure, voices, the hum of traffic. These dynamic colored lights blend with the vibrant hues of the topography, playing with our perception of color. Here, COMMON GROUND is a place of joy and light, celebrating inclusion, diversity and togetherness.

    Lighting design and programming by Xena Petkanas and Christoph Gisel of Arup. Lighting and controls provided by Nanometer and Electric Lighting Agencies.

    COMMON GROUND is part of Van Alen Institute’s Public Realm R+D program, intended to surface the work of emerging designers and test new strategies to bring people together in public space. The installation is co-produced by Van Alen Institute and the Downtown Brooklyn Partnership. Presented with support from Two Trees Management Co.

    Video edited by: Eloise Sherrid
    Footage by: Eloise Sherrid, with selected footage by Cheryl Wing-Zi Wong and drone footage by Selvon Ramsawak


    Ongoing at Van Alen Institute

    COMMON GROUND: FORUM is composed of wooden modules from the temporary installation COMMON GROUND (2023) by Cheryl Wing-Zi Wong and Arup. Post-exhibition, the artists separated COMMON GROUND’s modules from each other and reassembled them at Van Alen so that the original piece can make a longer-lasting contribution to public space.

    About Cheryl Wing-Zi Wong

    Cheryl Wing-Zi Wong is a New York-based artist and trained architect working at the intersection of art, architecture and the public realm. Wong’s work investigates the transformation of space over time and seeks to challenge social and political boundaries through sculpture, installation, performance and site-specific architectural interventions. Born and raised in Los Angeles, Cheryl received her B.A. in Art and Italian at the University of California at Berkeley, studied sculpture at Brera Academy in Milan, Italy and earned her Master of Architecture from Columbia University GSAPP. She has completed public art commissions with various institutions to activate underused public spaces, including: New York State Thruway Authority, New York City Parks, Rose Kennedy Greenway Conservancy, City of Calgary, City of Inglewood and Washington DC Public Schools.

    Visitor Info

    The Plaza at 300 Ashland is conveniently situated in the heart of the Brooklyn Cultural District, at the intersection of Lafayette Ave and Flatbush Ave. The plaza is easily accessible – located only a short walk from the B, Q, 2/3 and 4/5 subway lines at Atlantic Barclays, the G train at Fulton St, and the C train at Lafayette Ave, as well as a number of bus stops. There is also paid parking along the surrounding streets.

    Tag us online using the hashtag #CommonGroundDTBK:

    @cherylwzw | @van_alen | @downtownbrooklyn


    NuTribe Dance Company + Mark Morris Dance Group

    Wednesday, March 1
    6–6:30 pm

    We celebrated the launch of COMMON GROUND with an improvisational performance in the art of Waacking and Krumping by NuTribe Dance Company and Mark Morris Dance Group teaching artists CocoMotion and Luffy.

    Peniel Guerrier and Kriye Bode

    Thursday, April 6
    7–8 pm

    Peniel Guerrier and Kriye Bode brought Haitian Rara to the plaza with an enchanting performance that called all to rejoice in the energy of life as a community.

    Kendra J. Ross

    Thursday, April 13
    7–8 pm

    Kendra J. Ross, dancer, choreographer, and teaching artist, gave us a glimpse of her latest work in progress.

    Soles of Duende

    Thursday, April 20
    7:30–8:15 pm

    Soles of Duende, the all-female multicultural trio, presented a spirited collaboration across disciplines in celebration of Tap, Flamenco, and Kathak dance.


    Saturday, April 22

    Pratt Institute’s fashion department closed out their academic year with JUNIOR THESIS, a fashion performance featuring selected works from year-end collections.


    Brooklyn Magazine

    Colorful new public art in downtown encourages ‘reflection and play’

    Time Out New York

    This new colorful installation in downtown Brooklyn is the perfect Instagram shot


    New public artwork turns a Downtown Brooklyn plaza into a playful, colorful oasis


    This New Installation Is Bringing Vibrant Colors To Brooklyn Just In Time For Spring