Lucent - CODAworx

Client: Commissioned by HEARN, a Chicago-based real estate investment firm.

Location: Chicago, IL, United States

Completion date: 2015

Project Team


Wolfgang Buttress


Vector Custom Fabricating

Glass Blower

Ignite Glass Studios


Susan Aurinko

Water Feature

The Fountain Workshop


Daniel Bayliss

Lighting Supplier

Universal Fiber Optics


The first major permanent artwork in the U.S. by Wolfgang Buttress created as the lobby centerpiece for the iconic John Hancock Centre, Chicago. Deriving its name from the Latin ‘to shine’, this sculptural installation is based on a star map.

Lucent is a 4 meter diameter hemisphere perforated with 3,115 holes representing the stars visible with the naked eye from Earth’s Northern hemisphere. Fiber optic cables emerge from each point, emitting a pulsating, glowing ambient light. Affixed to these points are small hand-blown glass orbs that diffuse the light.  These points are triangulated, creating a delicate stainless steel filigree.

The Southern hemisphere is suggested in the ceiling reflection and a sense of infinity is implied by the double reflection of water and mirrored polished steel. Buttress worked again with astrophysicist Dr. Daniel Bayliss (Australian National University) to ensure Lucent’s accuracy. 


The goal of this project was to beautify space and create a landmark destination.