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olafur eliasson installs 1,963 dynamic metal tiles at chicago's willis tower

world-renowned artist and climate activist olafur eliasson has unveiled a new cultural landmark in chicago at the iconic willis tower. dubbed atmospheric wave wall, this new cultural landmark is eliasson’s first public art installation in the city, providing a free and accessible way to experience art outdoors — something that goes perfectly with our current socially-distanced times.

olafur eliasson atmospheric wave wall chicago willis tower
images by darris lee harris



prominently displayed on the exterior jackson boulevard, atmospheric wave wall by olafur eliasson creates a dynamic experience activated by the motion of passersby; by the motion of the earth in ration to the sun as light moves across it; and by changes in the season and weather. composed of curved, blue, deep green and white powder-coated steel tiles, the public artwork catches the sunlight and collects the shadows that shift as the day progresses. once its dark, the piece is lit from behind, allowing flashes of light to escape through the interstices between the tiles.

olafur eliasson atmospheric wave wall chicago willis tower



‘it was a great pleasure for me to create a work of art specifically for willis tower and for chicago,’ olafur eliasson c0mments. ‘inspired by the unpredictable weather that I witnessed stirring up the surface of lake michigan, atmospheric wave wall appears to change according to your position and to the time of day and year. what we see depends on our point of view: understanding this is an important step toward realizing that we can change reality. it is my hope that this subtle intervention can make a positive contribution to the building and to the local community by reflecting the complex activity all around us, the invisible interactions and minute fluctuations that make up our shared public space.’

olafur eliasson atmospheric wave wall chicago willis tower

olafur eliasson atmospheric wave wall chicago willis tower



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