Art in Architecture

Ribbons was designed by artist Cliff Garten, who took his cues from the classical lines of the architecture and symmetrical placement of the fountains. Pathways of decomposed granite and existing concrete guide people through the courtyard, and a grove of 32 white birch trees planted in a grid offer a vertical presence. Wrapping around the courtyard, ribbon-like benches of recycled concrete rise and twist from the ground, and some form semi-circular sitting areas around two fountains carved from granite. The artist wanted a democratic space, where people can see, touch and interact with it every day.

Americans for the Arts selected Ribbons as one of 37 winners honored from among 340 total submissions for their 2014 Year in Review.

Photos of the courtyard at the 50 United Nations Plaza building in San Francisco.

Last Reviewed: 2018-03-29