Floating windows, Kunsthalle Mannheim

The H.W. & J. Hector Foundation enables the Kunsthalle Mannheim, to erect a significant group of art installations by the internationally renowned light artist James Turrell. They are specially designed by the artist for the location of the Kunsthalle of Mannheim and take a special place in James Turrell's oeuvre. Unfortunately, only the exterior installations ¨Floating Windows¨ were completed. After ¨Skyspace Piz Uter¨, OAP again is asked to cooperate with the artist in expressing and executing his ideas.

    Services of OAP
  • Further development of the artist's fundamental idea during intensive discussions and meetings
  • Developing proposals for implementation of different variants for the artist's ideas
  • Development of construction details in cooperation with the civil engineers
  • Detailed design and tender documents
  • Construction management
  • Cost control, final snagging works and documentation

H.W. Hector-Stiftung zu Weinheim,
e.h.Dr.h.c. Hans-Werner Hector
Client Representation:
Kunsthalle Mannheim, Rolf Lauter / Stefanie Müller
James Turrell, Flagstaff
OAP Achitektur & Projekte, Zürich
Light design:
Die Lichtplaner, Limburg
Structure Engineer:
Ingenieurbüro Bräuer + Späh, Mannheim
Juni 2006
ca. 300'000 euros

In the area of the two lateral facades of the museum, a sculpture of light is created, made with multilayered metal screens, which through extreme sidelight activate a complex intangible graduation of light. The translucent screens keep the integrity of the building's underlying architecture and the geometry of the window division is maintained. But in an entirely new experience are the links between interior and exterior - of protective casing and transparent openings - connected in this work. Simultaneously, the two spare surfaces at the facades of the Kunsthalle are activated through this installation.

During the day and depending on the light, the screens of the outdoor installation work differently: On one hand the two outer layers are almost transparent and show the existing building with its pipes, windows and partitions - the fabric only formed as a transparent veil in front of the facade. In more direct sunlight on the other hand they form a more or less opaque surface which, softly shimmering, veils the concrete building structure. At night, however, gradually all the building components disappear and the three layers of the artwork are lightly coloured veils which float in front of the facade. The art of the entire planning consists in detailing the measures provided to fix the wire mesh and the underlying mesh fabric as discreet as possible to the existing building and to allow the viewer to perceive the light installation undisturbed. Because the illusion is only as perfect as the precision of its execution.