American Welding Society awards Chicago's Millennium Park


Oct 31, 2007

Millennium Park’s monumental Cloud Gate sculpture in Chicago is the 2007 recipient of the American Welding Society’s (AWS) Outstanding Achievement in Welding Award, one of the industry’s most coveted honors.

Cloud Gate

“We are proud to present Millennium Park’s infamous Cloud Gate with one of our society’s most distinguished awards,” says Ray Shook, AWS executive director. “This sculpture’s cutting-edge design and technological innovation are a reflection of the incredible advances the welding industry continues to make every day. Anish Kapoor and the talented team of companies and individuals that contributed to its development are breaking new ground and effectively expanding the world of possibilities in welding fabrication.”

This award is part of AWS’ Extraordinary Welding Awards program, which annually awards one welded structure that depicts exceptional design and technological achievements through welding. Each award submission is majority voted on by AWS’ Past Presidents Committee, comprised of 27 members who were each previously at the helm of  the organization.

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” “plates” which have been welded together, ground, sanded and polished. The result is a seamless mirror-smooth finish that reflects the city's famous 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 Kapoor's first public outdoor work installed in the United States.

Millennium Park representatives were presented with the award at a special ceremony to be held at the park during the recent 2007 FABTECH International and AWS Welding Show at nearby McCormick Place.

The following individuals and companies are named on the award for their contributions to the development of Cloud Gate: Anish Kapoor, Artist; Chris Hornzee-Jones, Structural Engineer; Performance Structures Inc., Design, Engineering and Fabrication; MTH Industries, Fabrication; U.S. Equities Realty, Development Manager; Millennium Park Inc. & AT&T, Donors; Richard M. Daley, Mayor; City of Chicago, Owner.