16.80 × 16.90 × 7.00 m
Most of the energy on planet Earth comes from the sun. Fossil fuels are based on the carbon cycle and thus make it possible to utilize the solar energy that was stored in bygone times. Dependence upon this kind of energy must inevitably end in the future. The use of renewable energy from sources such as wind and sun is crucial to the continued existence of humankind. The Frauenhofer Institute for Energy Economics and Energy Systems Technology has dedicated itself to this task.
The sun is the main star in our solar system. For billions of years the sun has illuminated and warmed the earth. Its powerful rays are what make life and growth possible. Since time immemorial it has structured the lives of all human beings. It has been called a god or a mystical creature and worshipped as such. The first forms of science emerged from the observation of the sun and other heavenly bodies. To this day the sun has lost none of its fascination. A solar eclipse is still a spectacular event that attracts attention around the world.
Beginning with these preliminary ideas, I developed Jantar Kaslar, an architectural sculpture referencing Indian observatories known as Jantar Mantars. These facilities, which are more than three centuries old, consist of a number of astronomical structures. They were built from elementary, archetypal forms for the purpose of observing the phenomena in the firmament. Now, these scientific instruments offer a formal basis for a contemporary installation.
The fundamental idea behind Jantar Kaslar is to create a communications site. It enables researchers and the populace to come together, instead of illustrating the Institute’s work or providing imposing sculptural solutions. In opening up to urban society, the Institute proves itself to be an active part of it, by supporting a dialogue between science and the city.
Outwardly, the ensemble is emblematic but also mysterious. Its pastel earth colors lend it a cheerful appearance and create a contrast to the rational architecture of the Institute’s building. It is this dialogue with the architecture that is intriguing, turning the site into a multilayered space for thought and association. Jantar Kaslar is an inviting place for employees to communicate, to have inspiring conversations outside of the building. Its structural diversity guarantees a pleasant sojourn. The various places to sit make it possible to continually re-group for conversations. Behind this is the assumption that the ways we group our bodies in a particular architectural context is essentially related to our thought structures and especially to our interconnectedness. The architectural sculpture always gives rise to new and surprising perspectives as viewers encounter the elements of the installation as well as each other.
Jantar Kaslar can be used as both a forum and as a contemplative retreat. It is a place where, in addition to everyday business, visions of our future energy supply can be developed.