Andy Goldsworthy’s towering sculpture Spire (2008) is constructed from the trunks of 37 Monterey cypress trees felled as part of the Presidio’s reforestation effort. Inspired by the form of church bell towers but rooted in the earth, the artwork evokes the layering of natural and human history in the Presidio’s forest, which was planted by the US military in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
From its 15-foot diameter, Spire rises more than 90 feet into the air. The height of the sculpture and its placement presented unique challenges. Architects, structural engineers, and preservationists were all brought into the process. To ensure stability, the keystone tree was lifted by a 350-ton crane, anchored into a metal sleeve within a 12-foot-deep hole, and surrounded by poured concrete.
- Video: Spire
- Installation Views
- In the Press
Andy Goldsworthy draws his inspiration from a specific place and creates art from the materials he finds close at hand, such as twigs, leaves, stones, or snow. Working in locations as diverse as the Yorkshire Dales and the Australian Outback, the artist strives, in his words, “to make connections between what we call nature and what we call man-made.” Goldsworthy is known to many through the 2001 film Rivers and Tides. In addition to his installations in the Presidio, his works in the Bay Area include Stone River at Stanford University and Drawn Stone at the de Young Museum.