1994 Wind harps

Projekt Wind harps for a competition of Zement + Beton, design of a series of bicycle stations on the Vienna Donauinsel showing the dimension of the island, 4th prize, with Peter Döllmann und Anuschka Frick.

Excerpt project description

The great length of the Donauinsel (Danube island) of 21.1 km gives an opportunity for a spacial representation of the curvature of the earth. If one places a tangent onto the globe at the island’s middle point, the height of it on the island’s south end will be 13.1 m (including the slope of 0.04 percent). In the other direction, the tangent will vanish into the earth because of the slope and re-emerge after 5.2 km.
To make these conditions recognizable is not very interesting since an observer of the earth tangent is not able to distingish it from any other straight line. In opposition to such an approach, acoustics fits perfect because it is well suited for showing proportions. With acoustics, the tangent can work as a tool to show the lenght of the island in a dynamic system.
The earth tangents determines the length of 12 concrete columns placed in regular distance along the island. Their length, derived from the earth’s geometry, is directly transposed into a certain tone pitch that will be produced by the wind blowing over the top of the air column inside the concrete pipes. The 12 hollow columns are 12 pipes of a big wind harp whose pitch range is determined by the earth’s curvature.