Globussphäre

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Client: ARBURG GmbH Co KG

Location: Loßburg, Germany

Completion date: 2009

Artwork budget: $550,000

Project Team

Artist

Gordon Huether

Gordon Huether & Partners, Inc.

Architect

Schmelzle + Partner

Schmelzle + Partner

Overview

Gordon Huether was commissioned to create this 16' diameter sculpture entitled 'Globussphäre' for the exterior of a new customer center for Arburg, a manufacturer of injection molding machines used in the production of plastic. Gordon Huether was commissioned to create this sculpture for the exterior of a new customer center for Arburg, a leading global manufacturer of injection molding machines for plastics. The sculpture is fabricated from stainless steel, pulled art-glass rods, optically perfect Pyrex and Dichroic glass.

Goals

The project began with a call to Huether from one of the members of Arburg’s founding Hehl family. An immediate rapport developed between the two, as Huether holds joint U.S./German citizenship. Huether was quickly able to translate the owner’s vision for the piece into a scale model and flew to Germany one week later to discuss the project. The spherical form provides a complementary contrast to the building’s stacked rectangles while symbolizing Arburg’s global reach. The sculpture is fabricated from stainless steel, pulled art glass rods representing the raw materials utilized by Argurg, optically perfect Pyrex glass rods representing the company’s precise final product and dichroic glass reflecting Arburg’s ability to create products in a wide range of colors.

Process

Several mock-ups were created before arriving at the final design. All the stainless steel connectors and fittings were engineered and custom-made with old-world craftsmanship by Huether’s partner studio, headed by Sebastian Willeke, in Germany. The sculpture armature was completely fabricated and glass location determined at Huether’s partner Sebastian Willeke’s studio in Aachen before being disassembled and moved to Arburg’s Customer Service Center in Loßburg. After the mock-up was complete, the sixteen-foot-diameter armature had to be disassembled and cut into pieces for transportation to the site via the Autobahn. Installation of Globussphäre took place in Loßburg over several days.