Lucent is the first major permanent artwork in the U.S. by Wolfgang Buttress. It was created as the new centre piece for the lobby of the iconic John Hancock Centre, Chicago.Deriving its name from the Latin 'to shine', this sculptural installation is based on a star map.

Lucent is a 4 metre diameter hemisphere perforated with 3,115 holes representing the stars visible with the naked eye from Earth’s Northern hemisphere. Fibre optic cables emerge from each point, emitting a pulsating, glowing ambient light. Affixed to these points are small hand-blown glass orbs that diffuse the light.  These points are triangulated, creating a delicate stainless steel filigree.

The Southern hemisphere is suggested in the ceiling reflection and a sense of infinity is implied by the double reflection of water and mirrored polished steel. Buttress worked again with astrophysicist Dr. Daniel Bayliss (Australian National University) to ensure Lucent’s accuracy. 


• 3,115 Hand Blown Glass Orbs
• 4-Metre Diameter Hemisphere
• Stainless Steel Filigree
• Southern Hemisphere is Suggested in Oval Reflective Pool



Wolfgang Buttress

Daniel Bayliss

Vector Custom Fabricating

Water Feature
The Fountain Workshop

Glass Blower
Ignite Glass Studios

Lighting Supplier
Universal Fibre Optics

Susan Aurinko

Images Courtesy
Mark Hadden and Susan Aurinko