Untitled (Large Variation) - CODAworx

Untitled (Large Variation)

Client: San Francisco International Airport

Location: San Francisco, CA, United States

Completion date: 2015

Artwork budget: $600,000

Project Team


Amy Ellingson

Amy Ellingson Studio


Jeff Henry


Public Art Agent

Justine Topfer

San Francisco Arts Commission


Kori Smyth

Mosaika Art & Design

Public Art Agent

Eli Ridgway

Eli Ridgway | Contemporary Art


Untitled (Large Variation) suggests motion and transformation through a complex field of active, colorful repeating forms. Amy Ellingson's practice is a synergy between digital media and the hand-made object. Untitled (Large Variation) is an 1100 square foot ceramic mosaic mural, designed with computer graphics software and fabricated by Mosaika Art & Design. The mural is purely abstract, yet it evokes fantastical cityscapes and landscapes, calligraphy, improvised music and the rhythm of life itself. Untitled (Large Variation) is permanently installed in Terminal 3 East at the San Francisco International Airport and is viewed by 7 million people per year.


The look and feel of Terminal 3 East derive its inspiration from clouds and the experience of flying. A recompose zone just past security provides passengers with a place to gather their belongings before continuing their journey. Retail and dining are freestanding under an expanse of high ceilings with dramatic sculptural sky lit objects that float over key public spaces. A new Living Room concept provides alternative seating and sits adjacent to a commissioned work of art by SF-based artist Amy Ellingson. Untitled (Large Variation) is a 109-foot abstract mural that uses color, geometry, repetition, scale and spatial illusion to suggest movement and transformation. Ellingson's mural is the largest mosaic project in the San Francisco Arts Commission’s 46-year history of commissioning public art.

Gensler’s design showcases innovative design, a streamlined security checkpoint, and a healthy environment precisely crafted to offer passengers a place where they will enjoy spending time. The T3 East project includes an expanded building footprint, accommodating increased concessions, a variety of seating and dining options within view of the gates, and a United Airlines Club Lounge. An enhanced arrival experience celebrates the unique destination that is San Francisco.


The mural project was administered by the San Francisco Arts Commission. The public agency awarded the commission to Amy Ellingson and worked closely with her throughout the process. The SFAC facilitated communication and collaboration between the architecture and construction teams, the artist and the fabricator. The collaboration included extensive team member meetings to discuss the site and the overall esthetic of Terminal 3 East. In addition, the artist worked directly with Mosaika at their studio in Montreal to oversee fabrication. Gensler architects invited the artist to assist in the selection of furniture, upholstery, carpet and other furniture finishes.