Studio Other SpacesOlafur EliassonSebastian Behmann

Studio Other Spaces: German, established 2014

Olafur Eliasson: Icelandic, born Denmark, 1967

Sebastian Behmann: German, born 1969

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but we're working on it

Common Sky, 2022

Artwork Details

Recent Acquisition


painted structural steel, stainless steel, glass, and mirror foil


overall: 275 5/8 x 1094 1/2 x 1126 inches (700.09 x 2780.03 x 2860.04 cm)

Collection Buffalo AKG Art Museum


Acquired with support from the New Carlsberg Foundation and General Purchase Funds, 2021

Accession ID


Common Sky is a new, site-specific commission designed by Olafur Eliasson (Icelandic, born Denmark, 1967) and Sebastian Behmann (German, born 1969) of Studio Other Spaces. The sculpture is a canopy of glass and mirrors that covers the courtyard of the Seymour H. Knox Building and transforms the space into the Town Square, which will be free of admission charges and open to the public year-round when the new Buffalo AKG Art Museum opens in the first half of 2023.

The design of Common Sky is an expression of the Buffalo AKG’s mission as a museum that is open and inclusive for all. The sculpture creates a communal space within the museum where visitors can gather. Taking cues from the weather of Buffalo and the lush public park system designed by Frederick Law Olmsted that surrounds the museum, the artwork resembles a natural form more than a traditional architectural fixture. The artwork, which comprises a two-layer domed steel structure that supports nearly 600 glass panels, was constructed under the careful direction of Eliasson and Behmann by Hahner Technik in Germany before being segmented and shipped to Buffalo, where it has been reconstructed and installed.

Common Sky reaches down to the ground at a single point of support—a funnel-like column that marks the spot where a lone tree, planted in the 1960s, stood, providing a memorial to what came before. The column creates a connection between the Town Square and the surrounding natural elements, allowing rain to fall and snow to collect as the seasons change. Common Sky's glass panels will cast patterned shadows on the interior of the courtyard, while the interior layer of mirrored panels will allow visitors to literally see themselves in the museum. From the exterior of the museum, Common Sky will seamlessly fit into the existing building’s silhouette—from the east, it will be draped in the park’s foliage, and from the west, it will serve as a beacon of greeting for visitors approaching the museum from its entrance on Elmwood Avenue.

Last updated 2022