Giant 227-Metre Aerial Sculpture Coming to Vancouver Waterfront

An artist's rendering of what the new sculpture will look like.

An artist’s rendering of what the new sculpture will look like.

Ready for a new addition to the Vancouver waterfront?

A massive, 227-metre sculpture – longer than two football fields – is set to be installed on the edge of Coal Harbour, between the Vancouver Convention Centre and the Fairmont Waterfront Hotel, later this month.

Consisting of soft, billowing fabric and other materials, the aerial sculpture is the work of internationally famous artist Janet Echelman, who has installed similar monumental works of art in San Francisco Airport’s new Terminal Two, above the Denver Art Museum and elsewhere.

The sculpture is set to be completed by March 17, timed to coincide with the start of the TED2014 conference in Vancouver (where, incidentally, Echelman is one of the speakers). Its colourful, gently curving material – illuminated with interactive lighting – stretches across open water, streets and pedestrian plazas, supported by braces extending from the convention centre and hotel.

Echelman’s piece is so large, in fact, that it required clearance from federal aviation officials to get off the ground, not to mention permits from Port Metro Vancouver and the provincial and city government, according to an article in the Vancouver Sun.

Echelman’s otherworldly sculptures – which look a bit like massive, luminescent jellyfish – have graced city plazas and art museums around the world. (Check out her website for some truly spectacular examples.)  She specializes in building “living, breathing sculpture environments that respond to the forces of nature — wind, water and light — and become inviting focal points for civic life,” according to the site.  Her works use unlikely materials like fishing net and atomized water particles to create “permanent sculpture at the scale of buildings.”

Vancouverites may remember Echelman’s unique Water Sky Garden sculpture, which premiered in Richmond during the 2010 Winter Olympics.  Situated next to the Richmond Oval, the sculpture resembled a giant, translucent, glowing cake mold.

What do you think about a giant new sculpture on the Vancouver waterfront? Let us know below. 

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