Set within Apple Park, Mirage is an outdoor sculpture comprising of cylinders of pure cast glass, made of sand collected from 70 deserts across the Earth.
Mirage, a commissioned sculpture for Apple Park’s olive grove, consists of a collection of 448 individual cast cylinders, containing sustainably collected sand from 70 deserts across the world. These cylinders are configured in a wave-like form, mimicking desert dunes, and stand at a height of 2400mm with a diameter of 150mm. Each of these soda lime glass cylinders has its own completely bespoke sand composition, which not only creates the unique colors and textures of the installation but also imparts a strong material presence to the sculpture. In doing so, Mirage is in perfect harmony with its natural surroundings, connecting to the elements and reflecting the environment.
To showcase the glass cylinders while also ensuring stability and longevity within the seismic zone of California, our Glass team engineered a stainless steel cassette frame system. The system has been designed to be buried underground to protect the glass from contact with the soil, whilst allowing the glass to subtly melt into the landscape, like a desert mirage. The configuration allows the cylinders to be placed closely together with a 15mm gap which is a key design feature of this project, whilst also making it simple to replace individual cylinders as needed.
The frame also allows for LED lighting at the base of each cylinder, to capture the beauty of the artwork 24 hours a day. Eckersley O’Callaghan worked closely in collaboration with TU Delft University to establish methods for quality control, design, and testing of the cast glass elements. Given the unique challenges of working with cast glass, such as varying bubble content and sand compositions, ensuring quality was a complex yet crucial part of the project.