"something that would engage the Chicago skyline ... so that one will see the clouds kind of floating in"
Cloud Gate (also known as "The Bean") is a public sculpture by Indian-born British artist Anish Kapoor, that is the centerpiece of AT&T Plaza at Millennium Park in the Loop community area of Chicago, Illinois. The sculpture and AT&T Plaza are located on top of Park Grill, between the Chase Promenade and McCormick Tribune Plaza & Ice Rink. Constructed between 2004 and 2006, the sculpture is made up of 168 stainless steel plates welded together, and its highly polished exterior has no visible seams. It measures 33 by 66 by 42 feet, and weighs 110 short tons.
Said to have been inspired by liquid mercury, the sculpture's surface reflects and distorts the city's skyline. Visitors are able to walk around and under Cloud Gate's 12-foot high arch. On the underside is the "omphalos" (Greek for "navel"), a concave chamber that warps and multiplies reflections. The sculpture builds upon many of Kapoor's artistic themes, and is popular with tourists as a photo-taking opportunity for its unique reflective properties.
You’re probably wondering…where did this idea come from?
It all started during a Friday morning brainstorm at Walker Sands Digital when we began discussing Chicago tourism sites. The Bean, one of Chicago’s most iconic places to visit, didn't have an online presence that showcased its biggest feature – the visitors that come to it daily. As a company that works every day to make the web a better place to be, we built a site that highlighted the people that head to Millennium Park, and how one destination can lead to hundreds of different photographs and perspectives.