Henry Segerstrom commissioned Richard Lippold to create Fire Bird in 1985 for Segerstrom Hall as it was being constructed. Firebird was a gift from the entire Segerstrom family.
This 60-foot-high sculpture was designed to be architecturally integrated into both the exterior and interior of the hall. The gold, red and silver colored stainless-steel and aluminum sculpture was named Firebird by Henry's wife, the late Renée Segerstrom, as an homage to Igor Stravinsky’s famous ballet of the same name. While the sculpture is about the colors and rhythms of music and how they relate to the asymmetric architecture of the (then) Orange County Performing Arts Center, it does happen to resemble a bird.
Devoted to pure geometry, Lippold’s constructions in space employ simple geometric forms that outline triangles, cubes, pyramids, cones and circles. Fire Bird is perhaps Costa Mesa’s most iconic sculpture as it towers above the Segerstrom campus, in front of Segerstrom and Founders Halls.
Watch a time-lapse of Fire Bird coming to life at night here.