Nautical Swing - CODAworx

Nautical Swing

Client: Office of Community Investment & Infrastructure

Location: San Francisco, CA, United States

Completion date: 2015

Artwork budget: $161,000

Project Team


Matthew Geller

Hutabut LLC

Industry Resource

Joe Mepplelink


Art Consultant

Helene Fried

Helene Fried Associates


Kasheica McKinney

San Francisco Office of Community Investment and Infrastructure


Nautical Swing riffs on the architecture of the site’s former Navy base. The artwork provides a place where up to a dozen people can relax, converse, and enjoy the spectacular view of San Francisco, Oakland, and the San Francisco Bay while gently swaying on a circular bench —a park-bench/porch-swing hybrid. The perforated steel canopy with its large oculus isolates a radiant view of the skies above.

2016 Year in Review, Public Art Network, Americans for the Arts

Hunters Point Shipyard Residential Development, San Franciso
16’ x 20’ x 20’
Galvanized, painted & stainless stee


Nautical Swing is a participatory, kinetic, iconic artwork leveraging the spectacular view of San Francisco, Oakland, and the San Francisco Bay. It is a respite, a destination, and a place to meet.


Geller’s process always begins with stakeholder and community engagement which could include learning about the area's history, gaining insight into the community’s vision for the site, and brainstorming about what would enrich and bring together their diverse community.

Metalab provided project management, design development, and fabrication oversite services. Footings and site prep were done by the site developer as per specifications provided by the artist.

Additional Information

In his public art practice, Matthew Geller’s participatory sculptures become one of the building blocks that make a space a destination. As such, the work activates the site and promotes interaction among visitors, often creating intimate moments in a singularly public space. Part of his work’s success is that it is physically experiential: viewers understand that there is a place for themselves in it. His sculptures enable moments of respite and delight, befitting the site's functional and visual context. He purposefully uses materials from the everyday environment creating a level of connection to the familiar while highlighting elements of awe and beguilement. The idea is to surprise while fostering the sense of an inclusive community around an unlikely object or location, creating a micro public square or landmark. By considering behavioral design and incorporating dynamic elements activated by people and changes in the weather, the resulting work is in constant flux. Ultimately, the artwork’s goal will be to engender a sense of wonder, enhancing the community and visitor experience.