The sculpture which metaphorically references the DNA helix in its spiral-shaped configuration is eight feet tall and projects up from a two-foot base. It was created from hand finished, stainless steel. The smallest section of the spiral measures 1’9” wide and then unfurls to a finished width of 3’9.”
In the sculpture, one encounters other helical forms such as those inspired by the spiral shaped shells of the bay’s creatures, cones in nature, and unfurling plant life. The artist explains, “…the design strives to have a timeless quality while bringing a contemporary sensibility appropriate to South San Francisco’s growth into the future…Growth is a key to what makes us human, and here the spiral is used as a symbol of the evolution of San Francisco, which has been expanding since the early 19th century. Rising out of the ground, the ascending form of the steel is thick and solid, becoming light and open above. This change in the sculptural form is metaphoric of the change of San Francisco’s transition of identity from the Industrial City to the Birthplace of Biotechnology. The wing-like metal-lace cut pattern crowning the top serves as a metaphor for independence and aspiration.” The sculpture was selected because it embodied aspects of South San Francisco’s identity as it related to its 2008 centennial anniversary. It was installed in the city’s newest park amenity, the urban trail, Centennial Way.