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The Architect’s Mentor Series – 07 Anish Kapoor

Architect's Mentor Series - CambridgeSeven
Anish Kapoor – Photo Jack Hems

by Douglas Flandro, LEED AP BD+C, LEED AP ID+C, CPHC® 

I stumbled into Anish Kapoor’s work while still in graduate school; I was in London for just a day before heading to Northern England for a wedding (mine). I went to the Tate Modern museum and witnessed how he completely transformed the turbine hall with his 2002 sculpture, Marsyas. The gigantic sculpture consisted of 3 enormous steel rings with a sinewy, shiny, flesh-colored PVC membrane stretched in between all three forming two huge funnels at each end pointing to the entrances and a third funnel point directly to the floor in the center about 10’-0” above an elevated walkway. I began by peering into the funnel at the void form and then navigated around it to take in the organic, flower-like structure of the outside of the sculpture and then moved to the very center to peak back up into the inside. From that center point, you could see where the voids from the other two sections came together. I had never seen anything like it. The sculpture was magical in its scale and how it appeared to levitate in mid-air. The bright red material was beautiful but even more evocative were the void spaces. The center space created a community of people who could see how all parts of the sculpture fit together, looking out to others in the gallery who saw only parts of the sculpture.

This experience informed my work as I consider geometry, scale, and material and how they work together to create beauty and community in public spaces. I continue to follow Anish Kapoor’s work and am especially interested in his innovative use of materials and how his conceptual art provides ways for us to see the world from a different perspective.

Anish Kapoor - CambridgeSeven