Smoke Stack City

Proposal for: South San Francisco Caltrain Station | 14 Stacks in Various Sizes: 8' - 14' | Concrete, Frosted Acrylic, Color-Changing LED Lights, Light Controller App | 2022


Gordon Huether was named as a finalist for the City of South San Francisco’s Caltrain Station Public Art project. As part of an improvement project for the station, this national public art call includes opportunities for art installations in two locations: a new pedestrian tunnel and a half acre plaza to be built at the intersection of Grand Ave. and Airport Blvd. Aiming to embody aspects of South San Francisco’s identity as it relates to heritage and culture, Gordon created site-specific concepts for each location.

The Concept

For the plaza art location, Gordon was inspired by the city’s ship-building era in the 1920s when the area was referred to as the “smokestack capital of the Peninsula.” Through his concentration on this idea, Gordon forged a design of abstracted smokestacks that reimagine the beautiful, elegant form of smokestacks into a contemporary sculpture installation of numerous silos. Illuminated with color-changing LED lights, Gordon’s concept, titled Smokestack City, will allow the public to walk among and around this colorful forest of silos, with the ability to control what color surrounds them through the use of a mobile app.