Unspoken Spaces

Olafur Eliasson

From the celebrated artist's own studio, an ambitious publication documenting the past twenty years of his large-scale projects challenging the divisions between art and architecture

Unspoken Spaces is the first major book on Olafur Eliasson’s architectural projects and works in public spaces around the globe. The book explores, often in Eliasson’s own words, the artist’s driving interest in finding visionary shapes to represent abstract ideas, and presents an extraordinary visual journey through spheres, tunnels, towers, walkways and archways, as well as pavilions and larger buildings realized by Eliasson and his studio since the late 1990s. Eight essays by writers across a variety of fields—from geologists and historians of art and science to architects, artists and philosophers—give further insight into the work of Olafur Eliasson.

Works in Unspoken Spaces range from small-scale experiments to largescale projects in the public realm, among them striking buildings such as the Serpentine Gallery Pavilion 2007 in London (with Kjetil Thorsen), Your rainbow panorama (2006–2011) in Aarhus, Denmark, the crystalline façades for Harpa Concert Hall and Conference Centre in Reykjavik (2005–11), and Cirkelbroen (The circle bridge) in Copenhagen, Denmark, 2015. Each work is presented with vivid photographs and accessible in-depth project descriptions as well as Eliasson’s more personal statements.

Unspoken Spaces includes a range of Eliasson’s creations—"reality machines," as he calls them—many of which have never appeared in print. A section of the book explores unrealized and unfinished projects.

The contributing writers are Alex Coles, Lorraine Daston, Carol Diehl, Eric Ellingsen, Timothy Morton, Molly Nesbit & Minik Rosing.


Informative, richly illustrated… One of the contributions of this book is to show how intensely and creatively the artist and his team worked together. It’s also noteworthy for illuminating his signature achievement: translating challenging and highly abstract ideas about design, architecture, and space into physical manifestations that deeply engage viewers.

— Library Journal

Eliasson’s own words as well as in-depth descriptions accompany photographs of each project, while essays by renowned geologists, historians, architects, artists, and philosophers enrich our understanding of his multifaceted practice.

— Public Art Review


Olafur Eliasson


Olafur Eliasson is an artist living and working in Copenhagen and Berlin. His work ranges from installations and sculpture to photography, film, pavilions, and other built environments, and has been exhibited worldwide in institutions such as MoMA, Tate Modern, and the Venice Biennale.