Venus rising

December 04, 2014

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The Fibonacci spiral and the intersecting spines of a nautilus shell have inspired an impressive 23m high stainless steel sculpture at Kangaroo Point Park overlooking the Brisbane River, Brisbane, Australia.

Designed by UK public space artist Wolfgang Buttress, Venus Rising features 10,790 individual welds and over 7km of nickel-containing grades Type 316 (UNS S31600) and duplex Type 2205 (UNS S32205) stainless steel tube, pipe and round bar.

Having worked with stainless steel for over 25 years, Buttress said that the material’s strength, ability to look good over time with minimal maintenance, and the flexibility of finishes works well both practically and aesthetically. “The material needs to be strong, resilient and look as good in 50 years as it does on installation.”

The central design of the sculpture was to create a piece of artwork that was visibly prominent and exemplified strength, elegance and weightlessness. The sculpture features a criss-cross ladder-type construction with heavy wall pipes that gently twist to create a hollow spiral. Visitors can enter the sculpture at the base level and gaze up at the sky through an opening at the top.

“I wanted to make connections between the Brisbane River and the sky above. It was important to me that the sculpture works on an intimate scale as well as being seen from afar,” Buttress said.

Commissioned by the Queensland Government, Venus Rising was selected in a public vote as the winning design from over 60 submissions and was unveiled in late January 2012.

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