Professional News

New Sculpture by UK Professors McKay and Swanson to Take Flight in Louisville

photo of rendering of "The Intertwining" by Mike McKay and Liz Swanson
Rendering of "The Intertwining" by Thompson Burry and Mike McKay.

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Dec. 4, 2017) Inspired by the bourbon stills of Louisville’s famed spirit, “The Intertwining” a sculpture by University of Kentucky School of Architecture professors Mike McKay and Liz Swanson — will find permanent residence at the Louisville International Airport in summer 2018.

“Suspended within the airport’s rotunda, the structure is designed to create an optical experience for passersby, regardless of their distance, vantage point or pace,” McKay said.

As visitors move toward and around the piece, the many layers of lines will produce a moiré effect, resulting in the illusion of birds in flight or the flow of moving clouds. The sculpture has been designed as a composition of 300 flat steel sections, organized radially.

To further enhance the recent renovations at the airport, “The Intertwining” is a unique experiential piece that will engage travelers with a visceral experience.

“We hope this sensation inspires curiosity in those visiting Louisville for the first time,” Swanson said, “as well as for those returning to the airport on a regular basis.”

The project team includes architecture alumnus Thompson Burry, SOA instructor Peyman Jahed of Buell Fryer McReynolds Jahed Inc. Structural Consultants, and fabrication facility MakeTime of Lexington. For further details about the project, visit

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