Weather Field No. 2 is the second iteration of a site-specific artwork by the Chicago-based artist Inigo Mañglano-Ovalle. The sculpture consists of 46-stainless steel poles, each topped with a weather vane and an anemometer, arranged in a highly ordered diamond pattern that comes together to produce an unpredictable microclimate within the installation space. The sculpture is prominently placed at the center of Millstone Plaza, an important northern entrance to Washington University’s campus.
The sculpture is set within a “composed field” of monolithic liriope plants, forming an elegant evergreen foundation from which the poles appear to weightlessly emerge.
The careful alignment of the plants reflects the geometric sculptural layout, while also introducing subtle variations in height, color and density that are natural for plant material. Bursts of color in the spring from tall allium bulbs and in late summer from liriope contribute to the dynamic quality of the piece by giving it seasonal visual interest.
Additional project components such as a thin stainless steel metal edge, sculptural lighting, a drainage strategy, and complex structural elements were highly coordinated to subtly but effectively function within the tightly packed site without detracting from the artist’s vision for the sculpture.