As the massive renovation of Chicago’s Willis Tower continues, the famous skyscraper reopened its Wacker Drive lobby on Tuesday, revealing a new installation by artist Jacob Hashimoto. Titled In the Heart of this Infinite Particle of Galactic Dust, 2019, the undulating, cloud-like work consists of 7,000 individual disks suspended from the ceiling with varying lengths of string.
“This was both a thrilling and challenging installation because I wanted to create a piece that speaks to the people who work in Willis Tower, as well as the countless people who visit this landmark every day,” said Hashimoto, a graduate of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, in a statement.
The new art is the latest piece of the tower’s larger, $500 million overhaul. The unprecedented project calls the addition of a 300,000-square-foot retail and food hall known as “Catalog,” a modernized elevator system, and updated lighting for the building’s iconic twin antennas.
Work on the skyscraper’s base—including the demolition of the “lunchbox” structure—temporarily closed the Wacker Drive entrance. The Adams Street lobby is expected to reopen at a later date, according to EQ Office, which is overseeing the project.
The Wacker lobby is open to the general public, and Hashimoto’s sculpture will be a permanent fixture there. The same, however, cannot be said for Alexander Calder’s Universe sculpture, which was yanked from the tower’s lobby in 2017 after more than four decades on display. The work is currently embroiled in a legal dispute regarding its ownership.