The Most Beautiful Public Sculpture : A Drop of Mercury
Architecture

The Most Beautiful Public Sculpture : A Drop of Mercury

Here on Freshome I try to gather all kind of inspiring things for homes from around the internet, and today I’ve found something that is really beautiful and also inspiring but not related to home design or interior design. What I’ve found is a public sculpture by Anish Kapoor in Millennium Park, Chicago, that is called Cloud Gate. The sculpture is shaped like an ellipse, and its legume-like appearance has caused it to be nicknamed “The Bean”. It is made of 168 highly polished stainless steel plates, and stands at 33 feet high, 66 feet long, and 42 feet wide, weighing 110 tons.

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From a distance it could be mistaken for a huge drop of mercury, while up close its highly reflective surface captures and transforms the skyline, the downtown cityscape and even the passers-by into a wonderfully warped new vista. The artist, Anish Kapoor, has referred to the sculpture as “a gate to Chicago, a poetic idea about the city it reflects.” The quality of the design and craftsmanship are obvious as you approach to study its huge smooth shiny, curvy surface. Finally I can say that the Cloud Gate is truly a new symbol of the city and another good reason to visit Chicago.

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The sculpture was the result of a design competition. Once chosen, its implementation caused numerous technological concerns regarding its construction and assembly as well as ongoing concerns regarding its upkeep and maintenance. Various experts were consulted some of whom believed the design could not be implemented. Eventually, a feasible method was determined, but the sculpture fell well behind schedule and was unveiled in an incomplete form during the Millennium Park grand opening celebration before being concealed for completion and a final unveiling. – Wikipedia

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10 comments

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  • José August 4, 2008 at 18:57 PM Login to Reply →

    Hi Michael and readers,

    In terms of art, I’m a person who’s preference goes toward the classic, but I do appreciate any style and don’t think that realism is superior to abstract or that classic architecture is superior to the modern one.
    Taking a careful observation, one can perceive that its shapes enables it to reflect a wide area of the surrounding space and from several angles (from the ground to the sky). And it does this in a way that some parts are little distorted.
    In a certain way I guess one can say that it’s a happy marriage of math and architecture and the conception of human creativity.

    Have a nice week,

    José

  • CJay August 4, 2008 at 19:56 PM Login to Reply →

    Beautiful… a worthwhile post even if slightly off topic. Please do keep these coming.

  • Gilad Markowicz August 5, 2008 at 00:43 AM Login to Reply →

    It looks more like a dump taken by a giant robot from the future

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  • [...] steel plates, and stands at 33 feet high, 66 feet long, and 42 feet wide, weighing 110 tons.read more | digg [...]

  • Anooj August 7, 2008 at 12:04 PM Login to Reply →

    I agree with JOSE that its a perfect marriage of maths and architecture. But being an architect myself, i wonder how could have they achieved it seamless.

    Hats Off to the designer and the execution team

  • emileo August 11, 2008 at 19:41 PM Login to Reply →

    Took at least a whole Season of polishing and (maybe) sanding to get all of the plates and seams to merge as a whole. Still recieves alot of upkeep by the city as far as i know. But definitely worth it, especially when you get up-close!

  • D August 11, 2008 at 21:57 PM Login to Reply →

    Hi there.

    As a Chicago resident, I’ve seen it up close just about everytime a friend comes to town. As kewl as these skyline pictures are, there is also a lot of fun to be had by being on the inside and watching others reflections move around on the ‘roof’.

    Stay JOLLY!
    D

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