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Loops: A Kinetic Art Installation Enhancing Bern’s University Hospital Environment

Loops: Engaging & Soothing Installation at Swiss Hospital

Ruben P Bescos

Created with the intention of captivating and instilling a contemplative atmosphere among individuals who visit, receive treatment, or work at Bern’s University Hospital Inselspital, Loops weaves together art and architecture. Gracefully suspended within the lofty 25-meter atrium of the newly unveiled Anna-Seiler-Haus structure, this kinetic art installation engages in a captivating discourse with its environment. Through its understated design and an infinite array of evocative shapes inspired by the natural world, it enriches the hospital setting, elevating it to a realm of tranquility and aesthetic allure.

The project has been formulated through a co-design process in conjunction with the Inselspital staff, in collaboration with Studio Banana, GWJ, IAAG, ASTOC, Archipel General Planer, MKT Engineering, and SpY. It consists of 24 aluminum rings with different diameters, each incorporating an LED-illuminated surface on their inner edges. These rings are suspended by two cables and controlled by motorized winches, enabling them to move both horizontally and vertically. This synchronized motion creates a dynamic and ever-changing three-dimensional impression within the surrounding space.

Loops: Engaging & Soothing Installation at Swiss Hospital

Loops presents a novel paradigm for site-specific installations, which is both engaging and soothing. It has been instrumental in re-envisioning hospitals as more humane environments, thereby enlivening the largest hospital in Switzerland. The production of this artwork spanned over two years and involved the development of bespoke equipment by world-leading engineers. The installation spans up to 21 meters in height, 6 meters in width, and 8 meters in length, and it contrasts the orthogonal structure of the architecture with its smoothly-edged rings. It offers diverse viewpoints and perspectives from the five floors of the atrium, as both spectators and the installation move. The installation’s non-invasive form respects the physical and functional requirements of the hospital, providing a dynamic eye-catcher for meditative breaks.

Loops: Engaging & Soothing Installation at Swiss Hospital

Design consultancy Studio Banana and the Spanish artist SpY endeavored to examine the potential of art in promoting the physical and emotional well-being of patients in a hospital setting. They contend that site-specific installations offer significant opportunities to transform hospitals into more compassionate environments. The Loops design is founded on the fundamental principle that art possesses healing properties. The sculpture’s movements are intended to have a profound impact, gently stimulating not only the viewer’s eyes but also their mind.