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Santiago Calatrava to create red spiral sculpture for Chicago riverfront

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The Spanish architect also designed the failed Chicago Spire

City of Chicago

Chicago is a city of public art—from Picasso in Daley Plaza to Chagall’s Four Seasons mosaic and Jeff Zimmermann’s murals—there’s plenty to admire. The city’s latest art installment will be from Santiago Calatrava, a world-renowned architect and artist known for projects like the Milwaukee Art Museum, the World Trade Center Transportation Hub, and other projects across Europe.

The bright red sculpture, named S25 for now, will be the new focal point on front yard of the River Point office building at 444 W. Lake Street. It’ll be nearly 30 feet high and about 20 to 30 feet wide depending on where you’re standing.

The artwork’s intention is to “grow from the ground” and that the spiraling “lyrical forms” should create a “sense of elevation and spiritual uplifting,” according a statement from the mayor’s office.

Calatrava will build basswood models before moving on to the full-scale metal sculpture. The process is expected to take 14 months with an installation planned for summer 2019.

Calatrava joined the mayor Monday afternoon to unveil the new design. The mayor took time to plug the Building on Burnham plan, noting this was one way the city has prioritized investment in the lakefront, Chicago River River and more.

“Chicago is a city of both outstanding architecture and world-renowned public art,” Mayor Emanuel said in a statement. “It is a testament to the new vitality of Chicago’s riverfront that one of the world’s foremost architects and artists chose the banks of the Chicago River for his latest work.”

This isn’t the first time Calatrava has been involved with a project along the Chicago River. Nearly a decade ago he designed the 150-story Chicago Spire, which began construction in 2007 but was derailed by the global financial crisis. However after a long silence, plans for the site’s redevelopment from Related Midwest will be presented on Tuesday.

While Calatrava might be best known for his buildings and sculptures, his work also includes paintings, ceramics, drawings. The artist lives and works in Zurich, Switzerland.

City of Chicago