The Air Above is a new project by environmental designer Michael Pecirno that explores how public sculpture can find form and purpose entirely from its context. Situated behind a short fence, on a rolling grassy opening underneath three towering maple trees emerges the sculpture.

Clad entirely in highly-polished stainless steel, The Air Above reflects vignettes of the branches above, the grassy land it sits upon, and the sky. The effect of having a mirrored finish allows the sculpture to become both a subtle addition to the landscape, while exposing visitors to the beauty of the landscape above.

The Air Above, exposing the south-western sky, the parapet of a neighbouring building, and the grassy field beneath it.

The Air Above. A new public sculpture in London's Battersea Park.

The form was crafted by using both a detailed 3D model of the area, and on-site observation to dictate what each panel should reflect. 

While the top panels focus themselves upon the space above the sculpture, the base of the sculpture slopes inwards, projecting sometimes nothing more than the grass beneath it, allowing the sculpture to camouflage itself into its environment.

Detail of the reflections visible in one of the panels.

The Air Above. A new public sculpture in London's Battersea Park.

The Air Above. A new public sculpture in London's Battersea Park.

The Air Above’s panels and interior structural joints were cut with a CNC router to achieve the complex form of an irregular polyhedron. Laser-cut polished steel was mounted to these panels and a gap was left between each panel to clearly expose the outline of the piece. The gap between each sheet has been filled with a rough textured white filler that helps to contrast the highly refined mirrored panels. 

The sculpture finds camouflage in its context.

At night The Air Above takes on a more surreal shape, reflecting the night sky while some panels become entirely opaque due to low light levels.

Night reflections in The Air Above

Night reflections in The Air Above

 

The Air Above is on display in London’s Battersea Park until September 2015.