Kinetic Sculptures

Phil Price

  • Location: Australia and New Zealand
  • Completed: Installation completed in September 2019.
  • Outcome: Structurally sound public artwork

Project Scope:

  • Structural design
  • Compliance, even in extreme wind conditions

km-mec has developed a close working relationship with Artist, Phil Price, on a series of public artworks across Australia and New Zealand. Sculptures are created from structural steel, the framework is then covered in fibreglass resin, the public sculptures use wind motion to rotate and move in a wide variety of motions which are hypnotic and mesmerising.

Phil creates the preliminary drawings and conceptual design, km-mec then performs mathematics to ensure the concept design has the structural integrity to operate safely, in extreme weather conditions and within the context of its environment. Public artwork always has an added level of safety, as they should, that’s where a high level of expertise and in-depth knowledge wind loadings is critical.

The rotating aspects require detailed mathematics to calculate worst-case loadings imposed on the structure and foundations. A particular challenge for km-mec was the Tree of Life, which has 21 moving leaf forms and a large upper body section that rotates. Several leaves or circles can move concurrently, at varying angles, therefore it was critical to ensure the artwork had adequate steel infrastructure, suitable bearings and the structural integrity was proven to allow it to operate at an array of angles. This was critical to the success of the sculpture.

Here is an example of one of Phil Price's sculptures in movement:


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