architecture : urban : visual culture

“Wandering of dots” - glass stakes on the new main street of Budapest

We can sit on them, they are luminous in the evenings, and -daringly enough- they are made out of glass. The works of glass sculptor András Bojti are placed in the city center of Budapest, at the end of a new 2 km long pedestrian mall. A story of a successful co-operation.

The leading architect of Teampannon Kft., Mr. Lajos Koszorú contacted me with the idea that I should also take part in the wide-ranging transformation of Budapest's city centre of a rate not seen for hundred years. The new 2 km long pedestrian mall with restricted traffic became the shaft of the city centre.

With colleagues they imagined a series of works of art made of glass to separate road traffic from pedestrian traffic in the area to be paved flush with one another. They meant to create mainly a moderate, geometric series of elements, appearing at daylight as rather suggesting something a bit mystically clean. The night appearance should however call forth inner happenings.




On the basis of my first impressions I felt the appearance of a large-scale view of public place which was novel even with the European eye. In the giant program requiring the planning of many elements it is well understandable that they could not go into every detail when planning the single objects. Associate crafts were drawn in and treated as equal partners here in an exemplary way. Public-place sculpture but applied arts are also trained in different kinds of scales, contexts and a different application of the knowledge on material-technology.

Thus it is important to draw the boundaries of the artistic forms’ appearances also in general, and to carry on those in a creative artistic cooperation in good spirits in order to arrive at a quite novel final result. Different views can establish new values this way. 



When redrafting the street work of art reminding me slightly of plain flat furniture in the original plans, I felt that the place requires a coherent spatial composition which would emerge from the pavement „mystically”, unexpectedly without any applications and pedestal. In the case of the motif appearing within the surface instead of a raster repeating itself rather a light row of figures as in a process was needed. I had the idea that it would contribute to the calmness of the University Square if no single works of art breaking space into pieces but one coherent composition was set up in the street. I proposed to make the objects suitable for sitting if according to the original idea the height size was very close to sitting height. 




As the sculptor intended, we made an irregular cube. On the inner side of the glass elements the gently twisting, distorted motif of a kerchief (or fishing-net) cast on the surface of the cubes appears in a way that the surfaces left empty have also a role in the composition. The motif continues being enriched through the features of glass technique. The motif was made more sensitive in the case of every cube by an intervention having individual graphical effect however increasing glassiness. The motif row turns around inside the whole composition so providing a dynamic and coherent sculptural effect.

We protected the glass appearing in a bizarre and unusual situation with technical means against wilful and accidental impacts. Motifs and easily damageable surface forms were placed only on the inner, protected side of the thick tempered glasses. Through the development of an individual edge grinding technique attackable surfaces had been decreased to the minimum, and also made safe for users at the same time. The surface of tempered glass is much resistant also against surface impacts. This sculpture did not want to attract attention by fashionable disorderliness, reeling and other short-lived tricks ”in the air” today. 




At evening light the aim was a moderately nightmare-like appearance. The lighting of glass is always depending on the character to be obtained, so in a strange way the most ideal lightening can be obtained not from the usual and obvious direction. In spite of the strong lightening on the square the sculpture seems to take part gently and sensitively in the forming of the city’s view.
Thanks to this inspiring creation environment the new glass-sculptural elements of the square were made under the title “Wandering of dots”.

Thanks those having cooperated.

András BOJTI
Glass sculptor

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