Green Air – a kinetic sculpture by Nomad Studio

©Alise O’Brien
©David Johnson
©David Johnson

Conceived as a living, kinetic sculpture nested within the courtyard of the Contemporary Art Museum of Saint Louis, Green Air proposes an immersive space, a hanging garden that floats above a tapestry of ever changing shadows.

©David Johnson
©David Johnson
©David Johnson

Green Air is the second act of a broad exploration that started in 2015 with Green Varnish, a monumental green fabric composed of thousands of succulent plants that symbolically covered all the inconvenient facts of our lifestyle. The installation was carefully deconstructed last fall and its components were reutilized to build Green Air, creating a continuity and dialogue between the two pieces and the people who experience them.

©David Johnson

For the second act, the space was modeled as the inverse of Green Varnish, both in form and intention. What was a solid piece anchored to the ground plane, is now a dispersed fluid volume suspended from an elevated plane. What was hidden is now exposed, hovering overhead, inviting us for an urgent reflection upon the contrast between the dynamic and static in natural and man-made systems.

©David Johnson

Green Air is a space in and of itself, a systematic yet delicate arrangement of Tillandsias,hanging from thousands of slices of repurposed wood, suspended from the courtyard’s steel canopy, moving as a supraorganism.

©David Johnson
©Nomad Studio

The installation has a powerful transformational impact on the courtyard at the heart of the Museum, as the sculpture hangs above the heads of visitors, swaying organically in the breeze, and sketching linear shadows on the courtyard’s ground plane.

©David Johnson
©David Johnson
©David Johnson
©Sarah Rothberg

Green Air

Saint Louis, Missouri, United States
Landscape Architects | Nomad Studio
Consultants | LIA Engineering.

Installation Team |
Jessi Cerutti & Caleb Hauck.
Molly Brennan, David Burnett, Key Chen, Ryan Doyle, Zac Farmer, Joshua Gann, Matthew Hannon, Emily Keefauver, Eric Kobal, Marianne Laury, Chris Lucas, Eric Repice, Adrienne Sandusky, Bret Schneider, Margot Shafran, Laura Schatzman, Jonathan Watt, Jamie Wiechens, Bin Yang, Eileen Zhang.

Maintenance Team | St. Louis Master Gardeners

Text & Image Credits: Courtesy of Nomad Studio

Photographers | David Johnson, Alise O’Brien, Sarah Rothberg.

About Nomad Studio
Nomad Studio is a design office committed to innovative landscape architecture, planning, art and urban design. Its work explores the
interaction between art and landscape and its influence on society and environment.

About Damian Holmes 5735 Articles
Damian Holmes is the Founder and Editor of World Landscape Architecture (WLA). He is a registered landscape architect (AILA) working in international design practice in Australia. Damian founded WLA in 2007 to provide a website for landscape architects written by landscape architects. Connect on Linkedin at