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Request for Committee Action

Agreement with Formations Studio for sculpture and related work at Public Service Building (RCA-2019-01168)

Finance & Property Services
To Committee(s)
# Committee Name Meeting Date
1 Ways & Means Committee Oct 22, 2019
Lead Staff:
Mary Altman, Public Art Administrator
Presented By:
Mary Altman, Public Art Administrator
Action Item(s)
# File Type Subcategory Item Description
1 Action Contract/Agreement

Authorizing an agreement with Formations Studio, in an amount not to exceed $772,107, including $394,517 for the Suspended Lobby Sculpture and $377,590 for the related ceiling, electrical, and lighting work at the Public Service Building.

Previous Actions

2019-00074 - Agreement with Formations Studio for prototyping for public art for the new Public Service Building

2019-00009 - Contract amendment with Formations Studio for Nicollet Mall art

August 8, 2007 - Adoption of Public Art Policies including policies for artist selection and design development.

Ward / Neighborhood / Address
# Ward Neighborhood Address
1. Ward 7 Downtown West 505 Fourth Ave. S
Background Analysis

In the winter of 2017-2018 the City conducted an open Call for Artists to collaborate with the design team for the New Public Service Building to identify several public art opportunities to be integrated into the future building and to design one signature artwork.

The City received a total of 48 applications for this project. A selection panel comprised according to City policy and consisting of arts and community experts selected Tristan Al-Haddad and Formations Studio to be the artist for this project. Working with the community, staff and consultants, Tristan developed a design for a suspended lobby sculpture entited Current Conditions, which was reviewed by the Minneapolis City Council Executive Committee and Facilities, Space and Asset Management Committee in December of 2018. In the winter of 2019, the City entered into an agreement with Formations Studio to prototype mechanical and aesthetic components of the design to further refine the design and cost estimate for fabricating the artwork. These deliverables have been received, and this month representatives from the City, MSR Architects and Henning Larson traveled to Formations Studio in Altanta to inspect and approve the prototype for the sculpture.

Current Conditions is a large scale dynamic sculpture that will be suspended above the social stairs between the first and second levels of the new Public Service Building. The sculpture will be a reflection of the changing physical environment of the City and will slowly change its shape in relation to climatic conditions within the City such as temperature, humidity or air quality. The movement will create a mesmerizing visual effect through subtle shifts of light, shadow and reflections, akin to a rippling lake or a flock of birds. The piece will reconfigure itself every day to produce an infinite range of weather driven forms over its planned 75 year life span. In this way viewers will be drawn back to experience the piece in a new light each time they visit the building.

The sculpture will consist of a large voluminous form within the two-story lobby which will be viewed and felt from vantage points both within the building and from the street and plaza across the street. The piece will be made from two sets of hanging catenary elements of formed polymeric resin, and have a lightness and transparency that is appropriate to the view corridors within the building. The intention of the artwork is to draw the awareness of visitors and workers to the environment which we, as a collective local and global society, are stewards over. The environment and its resources, are also the core subject matter of many of the workers in the building, and the notion of public service, extends to our service as stewards of the city. (See the attached drawings for more information.)


Staff request permission from the City Council to authorize the proper City Officals to enter into an agreement with Formations Studio in the amount not to exceed of  $772,107, including $394,517 for the Suspended Lobby Sculpture and $377,590 for the related reflective ceiling, electrical and programmable lighting for the new Public Service Building. This contract will encompass: All production of these items, as well as delivery, installation, commissioning phase and warantee. Payments will be made in five phases:

  • Production Phase - Long lead term items.
  • Production Phase - 50% Fabrication 
  • Production Phase – End of shop fabrication
  • Installation Phase – End of installation onsite
  • End of One Year Warranty Period

The sculpture is scheduled to be installed in time for the opening of the new building in the fall of 2020.

Enterprise Review
  • Approved by the Permanent Review Committee
  • Meets the City’s Equity and Inclusion goals for contracts over $100,000.
  • Meets Small and Underutilized Business Program goals.