Cloud Arch, was first announced in 2014 when it was a part of three artworks to be commissioned under the City of Sydney’s Public Art Plan. This became part of the contribution towards the government’s plan to pedestrianise George Street whilst introducing a new light rail system.
In 2014, there were over 700 expressions of interest from around the world which were unanimously chosen by a jury.
Junya Ishigami, a Japanese architect, has recently updated his design by doubling its size. His design will be positioned on George Street in the heart of Sydney. The arch will resemble other defining gateways and arch artworks around the world such as Anish Kapoor’s Cloud Gate in Chicago, Fero Sarinen’s Gateway Arch in St. Louis. All of which are descendants to the historical arches of Arc de Triomphe in Paris and the Gateway to India in Mumbai.
Ishigami described it as a “ethereal ribbon” that “behaves like a flicker”. After the redesign and reshape, the arch will reach 58-meters. It will extend diagonally across the intersection of George and Park street from the Queen Victoria Building. “Cloud arch will function like a gateway, allowing trams and people to pass under it and framing the important monuments and buildings of Sydney that are significant”, Ishigami said in a statement.
With public art works such as this, Sydney’s Central Business District will be reformed as George street changes significantly. Not only will this put George Street back on the map after month of closure but the “cloud” will also evoke a spirit of openness and freedom as the space is reinvented by its inhabitants. The soaring arch, by reaching for the sky, encourages people to dream and be bold in striving for their ambitions.
Penelope Seidler, an architect commented that, ” Cloud arch will be the most exciting thing to emerge in Sydney since the Opera House. I know it will become a Sydney icon. The sculpture demands views from all angles, it is puzzling and beautiful as well as an engineering masterpiece, I hope they construct it with haste”.
The public sculpture will be made from 140 tonnes of steel, and intends to look as light and thin as possible considering the height and size.