Location: Melbourne, Australia
Completion date: 2020
Carr Design Group
Art Consultant and Fabrication
UAP | Urban Art Projects
“Solar’s subtle and ethereal drama creates a sense of wonder and magic through the harmony of art, science, technology and light.”
Suspended overhead the vast open void of the Olderfleet lobby entrance is Wolfgang Buttress’ Solar. Responding to UAP’s curatorial vision, Thresholds of Imagination – Evocations of Shadow, Light and Time, Buttress’ artwork engages the viewer and interacts with the architecture of the building to create an immersive and multi-sensory experience.
Measuring 6m in diameter, the geodesic shaped sculpture is fabricated from complex layers of stainless-steel skins around a mirror-polished sphere from which fibre-optic lights burst. The work is perpetually animated with changing light effects that subtly move from warm to cool throughout the day and night, responding to the changing energy being directly captured by the building.
Set behind three heritage-listed buildings at 477 Collins Street, collectively known as the ‘Olderfleet Buildings’, the 40-storey office tower was designed by Grimshaw to deliver on Mirvac’s aspirations for the development to be one of Melbourne’s highest quality PCA Premium Grade commercial buildings.
Central to the design intent of promoting the relationship between the old and the new are the evocative notions of light and shadow, supported by the top-lit lobby.
In response to this design narrative, Mirvac commissioned international award-winning artist, Wolfgang Buttress, to create a site-specific sculpture.
The work titled ‘Solar’ is a timeless and dynamic piece suspended in the open void of the lobby, whose sheer scale and volume make it one of the largest in the city.
As the public art consultant, UAP worked with project architects Grimshaw and Carr Design Group, and commissioner Mirvac, to develop a public art brief and manage a curated international design competition. Once awarded the commission, Buttress continued to collaborate with UAP through Technical Design, Fabrication, and Installation of the artwork.