Curving Stainless Steel for Yoko Ono’s SKY LANDING Art Installation

Chicago is buzzing with exciting news, and it’s not just the Cubs winning the World Series!

Yoko Ono, the world-renowned artist, songwriter, and peace activist, recently unveiled her first permanent public art installation in North America – and it is in Chicago!

SKY LANDING consists of 12 large stainless steel lotus petals emerging from the ground. Ono states that the art installation is a celebration of the history of Chicago’s Jackson Park and a symbol of wishes for peace for the future. SKY LANDING is located at Chicago’s Jackson Park at the entrance of the Garden of the Phoenix, once the site of the Japanese Pavilion created during the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition. A 13th petal, called Mended Petal, can be found at the Art Institute of Chicago. Unveiled the week of October 16, 2016, SKY LANDING and Mended Petal are breathtaking.

But before all the press and attention, Chicago Metal Rolled Products was enlisted by its customer to help create these masterpieces by curving the petals.

Looking at the final art installations, one can see that each petal looks different and unique. CMRP created this look by conforming each petal to specific radii.

Weighing 5000 pounds each, the petals are approximately 6 feet by 12 feet curved in two different directions to specific radii. Below are the maquettes – or small models – of two of the petals showing the unique curvature. The maquette located at the bottom picture is one of SKY LANDING’s 12 petals. It shows the two radii – the right and left sides of the petal are curved to a 6 ¾ foot radius. The top of the petal is curved to 12-inch radius.

Curved Stainless Steel Marquettes
Curved Stainless Steel Marquettes

The petals are made out of 3/4″ thick stainless steel grade 316L. 316L is a special stainless steel grade that has a higher resistance to corrosion, more so than 304 or 316 grades. The ‘L’ stands for a lower maximum carbon limit. This chemical make-up of stainless steel is used in environments where there is exposure to chemicals or harsh weather.

The customer required minimal scratches on the petals – no thicker than a fingernail. This made material handling especially difficult. To keep the integrity of the petals, CMRP used special clamps to handle them.

Sky Landing Petal Tip 2 Bending the Stainless Steel Petal Tip for Sky Landing

CMRP cold rolled the petals on plate rolls and section benders. The machine operators first rolled the petals the long-way to achieve the curvature seen on the right and left sides of each petal. They then reposition the petals to curve the top.

CMRP President, Joe Wendt, and Vice President, Ginny Wendt Vecchio at teh dedication event for Yoko Ono's SKY LANDING
CMRP President, Joe Wendt, and Vice President, Ginny Wendt Vecchio at the dedication event for Yoko Ono’s SKY LANDING

More pictures from the SKY LANDING’s dedication event can be found on the CRMP Facebook Page. To find out more about SKY LANDING please visit



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