Photoptosis is a sculpture for a client who owns a house on Kaiserswerther Strasse in Düsseldorf, Germany. It is one of the few private houses in Düsseldorf that survived the bombing during the Second World War. The client is a collector of art and wanted a special sculpture as a part of his garden. During the site visit, the inspiration for the design was taken from the growth of ivy climbers on many of the trees surrounding the garden.
Global Architecture & Design Awards 2018
Honorable Mention | Category: Pop-Ups and Temporary Structure (Built)
Team Members: Rajat Sodhi, Christoph Klemmt
The concept was materialized in form of a stainless steel sculpture, with a branching optic fiber veins growing on top of it. The form for both the tree and the branching veins was derived using computational growth algorithms which simulate the need of plants to reach the sun light or of veins in leaves to supply every cell with nutrients. It was applied specifically in a warped space to have the branching appear mostly on the front side of the sculpture. The stainless steel was CNC cut and CNC bent to precise angles into their respective pieces which were assembled together using nuts and bolts. The tree-form was assembled layer by layer; with extra stainless steel plates added every few layers to reinforce the structure. Onto the skin, over 200 side-glowing optic fiber cables were attached to light up the sculpture during the night.
During the day, the lighting system is almost invisible and the stainless steel tree forms a prominent focal point. However, when dawn sets in, the glowing veins slowly start to emerge, until the tree fully disappears into the darkness of night and only the vein structure stands otherworldly in the garden. The sculpture was completed in March, 2017.
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