Expanding Sphere Otaru - CODAworx

Expanding Sphere Otaru


Client: Mycal Corporation and the Jerde partnership

Location: Mall, Otaru, Japan

Completion date: 1999

Artwork budget: $1,200,000

Project Team


Philip Vaughan


Mycal Corporation & Jerde partnership


The Expanding Sphere, which grows from 4.5 feet to 19.5 feet (1.4m to 5.9m) in diameter, is a primary attraction in one of Japan's largest retail centers: Mycal Otaru Bay Center in Hokkaido. Installed in March, 1999, the project was produced in partnership with Vertex Productions.


The sphere is suspended above the Center's Imagination Chamber, and is actuated with a computer-based motion control system. This system opens and closes the sphere in a programmed series of lyrical motions choreographed to music, lighting and special effects. Special shows occur at various intervals throughout the day for the entertainment of visitors.


This project came out of a collaboration between Eddie Wang, principal of the Jerde Partnership International and myself as an artist. The goal was to create that would be the centerpiece of this signature Mall and I worked with was a Sakamoto the Jerde design manager to create a void whiting the building that would act as the environment for this work.

Additional Information

The sculpture breathes smoothly, expanding and contracting to a soundtrack designed by Ryan Ulyate and in synch with a show lighting program that cast shadows of the moving lattice on the walls of the conical space that the Sphere inhabits.