Cityscope Art Installation

For this month’s case study of street art around the world, we discovered the innovative and colourful art installation, Cityscope by Marco Hemmerling. This masterpiece was designed for an architectural festival in Cologne, Germany back in 2008.

The design of the beautiful art installation offered so much more than just being aesthetically pleasing to the eye, but was created as a symbolism of the urbanscape. By day this incredible design would reflect surrounding buildings across the city, and by night it became transparent, instead transforming into a light installation from within.

In describing his inspiration for the installation, architect Marco Hemmerling, referred to Cologne and its fusion of buildings, a medieval cathedral, a train station from the 1950s, an office building from the 1930s and so on. The design of his ‘urban kaleidoscope’ was created to effectively bring together the disjointed perception of these urban spaces.

What began as a 3D digital design, it was constructed with a light, yet robust aluminium frame, covered with acrylic panels and finished with a thin radiant foil to give the kaleidoscope appearance.

The shape of Cityscope was innovatively designed to respond perfectly to the height and proportions of the surrounding buildings. The crystal-like structure, described as a triangulated envelope, would reflect visions and colours as seen by its inhabitants, of the city’s fragmented and changing urbanscape.

The most impressive aspect of the design, the 3D reflections, would all hinder on a user’s interaction. Depending on where a person was standing and the light ambiance at that time, it would affect the colour and reflections of the city that could be seen. Further resembling the surrounding urban setting, the installation became transparent at night to produce a light show of complementary colours from inside.

Hemmerling and his Studio for Spatial Design are an innovative team that work on a variety of architectural design projects, focusing on the relation between user and space. Cityscope is a perfect example of this relationship, depicting the fragmented nature of an urbanscape, that’s constantly moving and changing around its inhabitants.

In this creative design, the fragmented perception of the city and its inhabitants are brought together in a stunning, aesthetically-pleasing manner.

*Photo courtesy of Marco Hemmerling.


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