Halo - CODAworx


Client: Google

Location: Mountain View, CA, United States

Completion date: 2022

Artwork budget: $540,000

Project Team



Structural Engineer



Located in the public space surrounding Google’s new campus in Mountain View, Halo takes its formal inspiration from the pavilions typically found in Romantic English Gardens. Situated on a subtle hill in the landscape surrounding the new building, Halo is visible from the surrounding traffic thoroughfares. From this vantage point Halo is visible just above the tree line and acts as a pavilion in the round that has no front or back. As visitors approach Halo, the cylindrical form is pierced at the base by arches of varying sizes. These archways produce glimpses into the interior of Halo and unexpected cantilevers as they intersect the simple exterior form. While the exterior is clad with vertical aluminum tubes, the interior is formed by a crystalline structure clad in dichroic acrylic. The stark difference between the simple exterior and faceted interior gives the impression that visitors have entered a geode.


Halo is part of a series of artworks commissioned for the public space surrounding Google’s campus. Halo in particular acts as both a landmark and frames a space for employees and visitors to meet or relax and enjoy how the interior reflects and refracts sunlight in unexpected ways. The multiple archways at the base are meant to give the artwork an inviting presence from all sides while also creating large curving cantilevers as the archways are subtracted from the cylindrical shape. This gives a sense that the mass above is floating and creates a thickened space between the simple exterior and crystalline interior. One of the goals of the simple exterior was to produce a sense of curiosity that causes people to discover the otherworldly interior. At night LEDs integrated into the aluminum tubes reverse what appears to be a solid cylinder during the day to an assembly of structure and form that is much more porous as it is indirectly it with an atmospheric animation of light.


We worked with ARUP on the structural engineering of Halo to create a gridded composite structure that is made of a grid and cross bracing only where necessary to support the large cantilever archways. The interior of the gridded structure is clad with a lightweight faceted steel structure that starts off more flat towards the base and becomes more three-dimensional as it approaches the top of the cylinder. This faceted structure is clad with dichroic acrylic that changes color and reflectivity depending on the angle it is viewed at. This gives the interior a panorama of ever-changing color and light during the day. We designed LEDs that are integrated into the exterior aluminum tubes that are perforated towards the interior. We programmed these lights with a behavior animation that gives the atmospheric impression of wind blowing through the structure at night. During the day the dichroic is mostly lit from the front by the sun, giving the dichroic green, yellow and orange hues, while at night the back lighting gives the material more green, blue, and purple hues. This color transformation is created using innovative 3M dichroic film, the faceted structure, and LEDS. In a way, form, material, and structure come together to create a new composite material and experience.