A Utopian Cloud City on the Roof of the Met
Lindsey Grothkopp

When the weather turns warm this summer, be sure to spend a sunny afternoon on the roof of the Met. Argentinean artist Tomás Saraceno has transformed the museum’s Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Roof Garden into a dream-like habitat of transparent and reflective modules called Cloud City.

The 29-foot-tall installation, inspired by the geometry of interconnected soap bubbles, is made of sixteen stainless steel-framed pentagons linked together by Lucite and mirrored floors, which visitors access via transparent staircases. At the top, strategically placed windows offer views of Central Park and the Manhattan skyline. The twenty-ton structure is anchored to the museum with a series of steel cables, while its mirrors blend in with the skyline. The installation is part of the museum’s rooftop sculpture program, now in it’s fifteenth year. Cloud City marks Saraceno’s first major site-specific commission in the U.S.

Saraceno, who is 38, has long been fascinated with the relationship between art, architecture, and science. His extensive studies of both philosophy and science led him to question our ways of living with one another and envision fantastical installations embodying utopian ideals.