The challenge

As the team of Bern’s University Hospital Inselspital one of the largest in Switzerland planned their move into the brand new Anna-Seiler-Haus, they felt the users of the building would benefit from a special feature in the public lobby.

In order to contribute to this goal, Studio Banana was tasked with designing an artistic-spatial installation which should fascinate, and at the same time respect the unique environment of a hospital. We worked on the delivery of a serene and harmonious installation integrating time, space and technology while respecting the physical and functional requirements of the hospital. This was done through a co-design process with employees of the Inselspital, and in collaboration with GWJ, IAAG, ASTOC, Archipel General Planner, MKT engineering and Spy.

The outcome

Designed to enchant and disperse the mood of visitors, patients and employees, Loops conjugates art and architecture in an innovative kinetic installation dialoguing with the space and its users, while complementing the architectural setting.

Like a dance, this captivating structure consists of 24 rings softly floating in a perpetual choreography in one of the two atria of the building with its minimal design offering an endless palette of evocative shapes inspired by nature.

Spanning up to 21 m in height, 6 m in width and 8 m in length and contrasting with the orthogonal structure of the architecture through its smoothly edged rings, Loops offers different points of views and perspectives from the 5 floors of the atrium, allowing for many different interpretations and perceptions at once while marvelling the viewer again and again.

Discovery

 

“The building together with the installation
gives a certain loosening and dispersion,
but also courage and hope”.

 

Bruno Jung,overall project manager new
building Anna-Seiler-Haus

Inspiring through art, humanising through design

As the Anna-Seiler-Haus accommodates multiple functions and user groups, it was key to integrate these diverse perspectives into the creative process. Co-designing alongside future users, the architects and planners, we carried out a series of workshops to define the main project vision and storyline: to deliver a unique experience that enchants and distracts but also captivates and surprises employees, patients and visitors.

After a detailed understanding of the user dynamics, daily rhythms and movements, our team led the creative direction of the project, working in close collaboration with technical specialists of MKT Engineering from conception to execution, through detailing of the rings, programming of the choreography all the way to the supervision of manufacturing and installation.

Look & feel

A subtle dialogue with the space

Inspired by the ever-changing and unstoppable cyclical movements of nature, the seemingly weightless rings conforming Loops are constantly drawing ethereal trajectories and creating sophisticated choreographic patterns. This dance is further enhanced by an interplay of light and speed.  

Aesthetically understandable and universally engaging, the design of Loops allows for many alternative interpretations from the five floors of the atrium, stimulating new perspectives and individual experiences.

A floating structure

Visually bound inside the 25 metre-high atrium of the Anna-Seiler-Haus, Loops’ non-invasive shape consists of 24 aluminium rings of varying diameters that integrate an LED glowing surface on their inner rims. Suspended by two cables and steered by two motorised winches, each ring can move horizontally and vertically. It is the synchronicity of the rings that creates the impression of 3D movement constantly forming in space.

 

You want to know constantly, what comes next? 

And at the same time it’s also very calming and meditative.

 

Julia Schankin, Inselspital

An endless movement

As the independent rings move freely, the structure allows for different choreographies following unexpected impulses throughout the day to ensure a wide variety of patterns. In the early morning and late evening the movements are calmer, while during the day the choreographies pick up speed.

At night, the installation remains in a calm placid standby mode in the middle of the atrium and only shows a play of lights.

In addition, every hour on the dot, the 24 rings converge towards the centre and through a luminous pulse indicates the time.

Conclusion

A captivating moment for patients, employees and visitors

Loops for us was a perfect chance to create, develop and implement a holistic experience conjugating art, design and architecture to connect each other through emotions.

Working alongside different stakeholders, our team managed to create a fascinating eye-catcher for meditative breaks seamlessly integrated in the building that helps enrich the hospital environment.