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The objective

Creation of a work of art for the new Rhein-Main Congress Center building located at a prominent point near the boundary of the Hessian capital of Wiesbaden. The work will reflect and visualize the purposes for which the new building is designed: encounter, communication and trade. The striking urban neighborhood comprising the nearby Hessian State Museum, the main railway station, the entrance to Wilhelmstrasse and the new trade fair grounds form a setting in which the work is to occupy a central position. 

The artwork

The pyramid, a kinetic sculpture measuring ten meters in height, opens in its upper half. Like butterfly morphing from a cocoon, the pyramid unfolds, forming a flying object. A seemingly natural process that looks quite simple at first glance involves a highly complex mathematical sequence. Four articulated couplings pass through three-dimensional “screw curves” or hyperbolic spirals, all of which remain in a constant relationship to one another. It is an intuitively conceived, multidimensional mechanism that is not constructed in a linear, discursive manner, as in traditional engineering. 

This principle cannot be conceived on a drawing board, but can only be reproduced, analyzed and reconstructed in 3-D with the aid of a computer. The entire surface of the sculpture is covered with LED technology and thus forms an interactive screen. The symbolic metamorphosis unites mathematics and nature in motion. The goal is to stimulate a fruitful dialog that overcomes barriers to thought and communication.

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The pyramid becomes a communication surface and enables observers to interact with the artwork. It is cloaked in a steel net dotted with a dense pattern of LEDs. Its permeability matches the transparency of the Congress Center. As the sculpture changes its shape, the lights on the outside wall are extinguished, and the inner life of the work is rendered visible by its own lighting system. 

By means of near field communication (NFC), a technology that promotes communication solely by approaching the sculpture with a mobile device, the visitor engages in interaction with the work. The standard QR code used to access the website installed specifically for the sculpture is inscribed in a ground plate next to the artwork. This added technical feature enables a new, more intensive dialog between the viewer and the highly complex structure of the work. The complexity – the mechanical process involved in the sculpture – can be followed online via virtual reality. 


Technical specifications

Material: steel substructure
 Dimensions: height 10 m, floor surface 3.5 x 3.5 m

Drive system: motor with worm gear and safety motor for closing the wings. 

LED technology:

LEDs are attached by means of a special patented process to a transparent woven steel “mat.” This innovative lighting system is also clearly visible during the day.

Foundation: includes a water basin that surrounds the pyramid.

Dimensions: 8 x 8 m square.

Total weight: 4 tons (approx. 1 ton per m2)

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