Lucent is a newly unveiled sculpture by UK artist Wolfgang Buttress, created as part of the lobby refurbishment of the iconic John Hancock Center, Chicago, USA.

Deriving its name from the Latin Lucere, meaning 'to shine', this sculptural installation is based on a star-map. The piece draws on celestial mapping research by astrophysicist Dr Daniel Bayliss at the Australian National University. Lucent is a 4 meter-diameter hemisphere perforated with 3,115 holes representing stars visible with the naked eye from Earth’s Northern hemisphere. Fiber-optic cables emerge from each point, emitting a glowing ambient light. Affixed to these points are hand-blown glass orbs that diffuse the light. These points are triangulated, creating delicate stainless steel filigree. The Southern hemisphere is suggested in the ceiling reflection and a sense of infinity is implied by a double reflection set-up between the reflecting pool bellow and mirrored polished steel above.

Lucent was engineered and fabricated by Vector Custom Fabricating, and the 3,100+ glass orbs were hand blown by glass artists at Ignite Glass Studios.

Wolfgang Buttress is a Nottingham-based artist, whose work includes the award-wining UK Pavilion at Milan Expo 2015.

‘It's an extra challenge to create awe and beauty in a building as breath-taking as the John Hancock in Chicago, but Wolfgang Buttress' new sculpture Lucent on the ground floor does just that. Concentric half-spheres of points of light floating above a reflecting pool simultaneously convey a changing yet constant energy and a zen-like tranquility. In fact, the lights represent visible stars (this is another collaboration with Australian astrophysicist Dr Daniel Bayliss), and thus Lucent implies a scale even greater than the iconic super tall skyscraper itself. Lucent quietly jumps from its interior space to a cosmic level.’ Herbert Wright (2015)

‘I am interested in exploring the relationship between micro and macro scales and the connections between them. Some forms and phenomena occur across scales from the cosmic to the microscopic. We are all stardust. The use of scale can remind us of universality and wonder’ Wolfgang Buttress

Client : Hearn

Artist : Wolfgang Buttress
Scientist: Dr. Daniel Bayliss
Fabricators: Vector Custom Fabricating
Glass Blower: Ignite Glass Studios
Lighting Supplier: Universal Fibre Optics
Curator : Susan Aurinko