Cliff Garten Inserts Sculptural “Ribbons” Into San Francisco’s 50 UN Plaza

City Terrain, West
Tuesday, October 29, 2013
(Jeremy Green)

(Jeremy Green)

Los Angeles–based artist Cliff Garten has just completed his latest commission: Ribbons, a series of landscapes and sculptures in the courtyard of the Beaux-Arts 50 United Nations Plaza in San Francisco. The symmetrical design riffs on the existing structure’s classical uniformity by inserting a sculptural collage of paving, seating, fountains, and plantings into the building’s 20,000 square foot courtyard.


(Jeremy Green)

Curving concrete pavers are set into a larger surface of decomposed granite, while cast concrete benches twist as if made of rubber, appearing to lift out of the ground pattern.

“Concrete is great. I think I have finally found my medium for infrastructure,” said Garten, who noted that he’s hoping to develop a line of street furniture with the manufacturer Quick Crete.

The project was commissioned by the General Services Administration’s Art in Architecture Program, which sets aside a half percent of construction funds for federal projects for art. See more pictures below.

20130903_CG_50UNplaza_0436 (1)

(Jeremy Green)


(Jeremy Green)

20130904_Ribbons_1281_2_3_4_5_6_7_tonemapped (1)

(Jeremy Green)


(Jeremy Green)

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