Sky Prairie - CODAworx

Sky Prairie

Client: City of Kansas City, Missouri

Location: Kansas City, MO, United States

Completion date: 2023

Artwork budget: $475,000

Project Team

Project fabrication, installation, and lighting commissioning

Eric Stevie

Imagine Design and Production Ltd

Lighting Design

Toby Lewis and Janelle Drout

Left Hand Lighting

Structural Design

Bryan Starr

Tarantino Engineering Consultants


Located at two crossroads along the Arrivals Roadway, Sky Prairie creates an unexpected immersive experience for travelers as they take their first steps out of the Kansas City Airport Terminal, and into the western Missouri geography and culture. The work is comprised of two arrays of 1714 painted aluminum tubes fastened to a horizontal frame element allowing the artwork to float above pedestrians moving at each crosswalk location. The bottom edge of the tubes is carved into an undulating topography that rises and falls, lifts and descends throughout the ceiling reminiscent of the rolling hills of the local Osage Plains. Each tube is suspended on a stainless steel aircraft cable which allows it to shift back and forth, along with the other tubes that move in wave-like patterns in response to air currents flowing through the space. The artworks are painted shades of golden orange and warm yellows, capturing the hues of the area’s natural grasses and their interaction with sunlight. Integrated LED lighting elements that complement these vibrant colors, create subtle highlights that pulse throughout the piece, beckoning travelers on their journey outwards to explore the Kansas City area, and altering the artwork in appearance and sensation each time it is encountered.


The new Kansas City Airport aspired to become a world-class destination for travelers where public art figured prominently in the overall experience for residents and visitors alike. The arrivals roadway where Sky Prairie is located, was originally an unprepossessing, dark, cold, and unappealingly long concrete covered space that provided travelers their first experience of Kansas City. The intention for the artwork was to transform this space into a welcoming, colorful, illuminated gateway into the city that would give a hint of the beautiful landscape and culture travelers will discover as they leave the airport for the western Missouri area.


This was an extremely challenging project that involved the collaboration of many different partners. Firstly, the artwork site of the Arrivals Roadway actually bridged two different architectural projects, each with their own design team, engineers, structural design and multi-faceted constraints. We worked closely with both teams in order to integrate our work into the very different structural designs and systems on each side. We also had to collaborate closely with electrical, plumbing, mechanical, ADA consultants, and transportation specialists in order to make sure that our work could knit itself seamlessly into a very complicated space with many existing systems and parameters such as sprinklers, emergency signs, fans, clearances, etc.

Additional Information

The artwork has been extremely well received by the local community and by travelers world-wide.