Lewis deSoto
On the Air, 1995
Bronze in Terrazzo
12,000 sq. ft.

In conjunction with the San Francisco Art Commission and the architecture firm of Skidmore, Owings and Merrill, a floor design was incorporated into the arrivals floor of the new international terminal at the San Francisco International Airport. This design comprises approximately 12,000 square feet of floor space and cost approximately 1 million dollars to realize. The design consists of three elements. Weather isobars are represented by colored curvilinear “zones”. These isobars are pictures of areas of high and low pressure that occur in the atmosphere. These isobars are made out of specially mixed colors of terrazzo that are poured on site. The colors are separated by silver zinc divider strips. The second element are bronze divider strips that depict the outlines of the land masses of the earth. These diagrammatic lines are 3/16” wide and made of yellow brass. Thirdly, 182 12’ diameter silvered bronze sand-cast plaques are placed at the location of cities with major international airports. The designs are derived from pilot charts used for reference to land and take-off from these locations. The visitor walking on top of the floor at first encounters the pattern of isobars, then sees the “touchdown” points for airplanes around the world. One can literally traverse the earth, walking “on the air” and trace one’s path from destination to destination.