Alexander Calder’s abstract stabile anchors the large rectangular plaza bordered by three Bauhaus style federal buildings designed by Mies van der Rohe. The sculpture’s vivid color and curvilinear form contrast dramatically with the angular steel and glass surroundings. However, Flamingo is constructed from similar materials and shares certain design principles with the architecture, thereby achieving successful integration within the plaza. Despite its monumental proportions, the open design allows the viewer to walk under and through the sculpture, leading one to perceive it in relation to human scale.
text by City of Chicago