An entry for a Kunst am Bau (Percentage-for-Art) closed competition on the occasion of the construction of a new sports hall for an elementary school in Spandau, Berlin.
Description: for the foyer of the new Sport hall of Christoph-Földerich-Grundschule Spandau, I proposed an interactive self-illuminating sculpture consisting of an automated electric flare that nods to the Olympic Flame and torch relay. The work relates to the tradition of playing games and addresses the young generation of students that breathes new life into the building with each school year. It also evokes the historic role of torches as protectors of buildings, while drawing inspiration from contemporary computer games aesthetics.
The torch-like sculpture greets anyone arriving at the Sport hall: It is visible from all directions when passing through the foyer, and through the glass doors when approaching the building. It hangs above the entrance to the main hall, jutting out in the same fashion as a basketball hoop so that even the youngest pupils can get a view of the work going up or down the stairs. With its playful design and vivid colors, the sculpture stands in stark contrast to the foyer’s hard-edged architecture.
The LED lights in the torch’s structure react to the number of people in the foyer: When there are few or no people in the building, the flame goes into “eco sleep mode,” burning at a slow pace and low light. However, when sensing a significant number of people in the foyer, the flame goes into celebration mode: the lights move faster and burn at their brightest, amplified by additional flashing lights. The work, which detects the movement inside the building via a motion/vibration sensor, thus becomes a tangible pulse index, reflecting and reacting to the amount of energy in the building.
Modeling: Nevo Bar, Rachid Moro: image processing
Overall project management and coordination: Mascha Fehse