Author: Eeva Käsper
3D visualization: Larissa Kondina
CIRCULUS (Latin) – circle, circuit, orbit, round, ring
From a cell to a dandelion, from a dome of a cathedral to the globe – the form of the sphere is universal.
The group of sculptures created on the central square of the Meilahti hospital in Helsinki, Finland, consists of five spheres with fine combinations of patterns, with the diametre of 4.2m, and the accompanying benches which together form a coherent whole.
The five sphere have each a unique design. Even though they originate from only two different patterns, by combining these patters five unique designs have been accomplished. Two spheres have one layer, and three are two-layered. Therefore, some spheres are thinner, others thicker. The pattern varies also within one sphere.
The area can be viewed from different perspectives. There is a distant view from the upper floors of the surrounding hospital buildings from where you can see the whole rock. The other views include those from the lower floors and from different directions, and from the sidewalk that borders the rock. It is also possible to walk on the rock.
From the distance, big half-transparent spheres appear which harmonize with the rock. The layered structure is not cleary visible, but it motivates the viewer to get closer to learn more about the nature of the objects. When getting close, the spatial pattern becomes clear. Depending on the viewpoint the pattern either opens or closes the views. The airily layered structure of the objects invites the viewer to look and to discover. When entering the objects, the big form becomes less relevant and the fine inner metal structure and glass details with their patterns take the spotlight. By moving around and inside the spheres one may continuously discover new details and perspectives. Therefore, repeated visits are still exciting and bring a lot of life to the rock as the central area of the hospital complex.
The glass details bring to the objects the shine, radiance and optics characteristic only of glass, and mild, soft tones of colour. These are small pieces of art which invite to be looked at, and which are in constant change and suprise the viewer again and again in different lights and different time of the day. In dark hours and during the night-time the sculptures are illuminated. The light has been integrated close to the glass parts to draw the viewers’ attention specifically to them.
When being inside the spheric sculptures, an imaginary space emerges for being by oneself. The latticed surface of the spheres and the glass objects slightly hide the view to the surrounding buildings. These are spaces to be by oneself, with a friend, a family, or to spend time with a colleague over a cup of coffee.
The layout plan shows the locations of the five balls. The diameter of each ball is 4.2 m. The material is 5 x 88 mm stainless steel profile. Inside each ball there is a round bench which seems to grow out of the sphere itself. The patterns of the balls vary. Two balls have one layer, and three balls are two-layered.
Inside each ball there are 16-32 glass elements. The length of the glass elements is 40-60 cm, and their thickness varies, being approximately 3-4 cm. The glass elements are of different shape in different balls. All the glass elements have a different pattern and colour shade and a relief on the back side. The glass parts have been hand-made, and they have been attached to the metal structure in three different ways.
Outside the spheres there are benches which have been placed logically on the diameter of a circle. The benches have been created technically the same way as the spheres. The seating and the back of the benches is covered with a transparent plastic plate or a plate made of water-proof plywood.
The spheres are illuminated during the dark hours and night-time. The lighting is placed close to the glass parts inside the spheres as well as in concentric cricles around the spheres inside the surface of the rock, directed towards the spheres. The light is soft so that it would not disturb people in the hospital buildings surrounding the square.