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McDonald's Floating Restaurant, Systems of Support of a Three Layer Big Mac, Sketch

A work made of ink line on white paper.

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  • A work made of ink line on white paper.




SITE (Sculpture in the Environment, Inc.)
American, 20th century
James N. Wines, delineator
American, born 1932

About this artwork

James Wines’ firm SITE was founded as a practice for “de-architecture,” focusing on inverting and complicating architectural convention. Central to this endeavor is his belief that art has been relegated to the status of decoration in contemporary society. As a response, SITE treats architecture and art as a hybrid practice and a social extension of a building’s context. The firm became famous for a series of showrooms for the Best Products Company, which were designed as humorous environmental sculptures with trompe l’oeil facades or elaborate displays like a building-sized terrarium. SITE designed a special restaurant for McDonald’s in a similar vein. Although the realized building is fairly conventional, an early design by SITE playfully explores the idea of the restaurant as a giant Big Mac. This design is in many ways the perfect embodiment of architect Robert Venturi’s “Duck” theory, a kind of iconography in which a building’s space, structure, and program are fully subsumed into an overall symbolic form.


Currently Off View


Architecture and Design


S.I.T.E., Inc. (Architect)


McDonald's Floating Restaurant, Systems of Support of a Three Layer Big Mac, Sketch


Cook County (Building address)

Date  Dates are not always precisely known, but the Art Institute strives to present this information as consistently and legibly as possible. Dates may be represented as a range that spans decades, centuries, dynasties, or periods and may include qualifiers such as c. (circa) or BCE.



Ink line on white paper


35.2 × 42.5 cm (13 7/8 × 16 3/4 in.)

Credit Line

Through prior gift of the Three Oaks Wrecking Company

Reference Number


Extended information about this artwork

Object information is a work in progress and may be updated as new research findings emerge. To help improve this record, please email . Information about image downloads and licensing is available here.


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