Chicago, IL — The Millennium Park monumental Cloud Gate sculpture in Chicago is the 2007 recipient of the American Welding Society’s (AWS) Outstanding Achievement in Welding Award.
The award is part of AWS’ Extraordinary Welding Awards program, which annually awards one welded structure that depicts exceptional design and technological achievements through welding.
Inspired by liquid mercury, Cloud Gate is one of the world’s largest outdoor sculptures at 110 tons, 66 ft long, 42 ft wide and 33 ft high. Its surface is forged of a series of 168 highly polished, stainless steel 3/8-in. plates, which have been welded together, ground, sanded and polished. The result is a seamless mirror-smooth finish that reflects the city’s skyline and the clouds above.
A 12-ft-high arch provides a gate to the concave chamber beneath the sculpture, inviting visitors to touch its mirror-like surface and see their image reflected back from a variety of perspectives. The sculpture is British artist Anish Kapoor’s first public outdoor work installed in the United States.
Millennium Park representatives were to be presented with the Extraordinary Welding Award at a special ceremony Nov. 12, during the week of the 2007 Fabtech International & AWS Welding Show at nearby McCormick Place.