URSINAE, Sophie Bouvier Ausländer, 2022
Bäre Tower – Ostermundigen – CH
Ursinae is a permanent artwork made of steel and coloured glass, located at the foot of the Bäre Tower in Ostermundigen near Bern, Switzerland. Like the tower, it is a hyphen between the ground and the sky.
The stellar shape of the floating colours and their combination were inspired by the site, the architecture and three constellations located directly above this public square, on the day of the opening, 1 July 2022.
These are the Great Bear (Ursa Major), the Little Bear (Ursa Minor) and Arcturus, the ancient Greek guardian of the bear, which holds the tail of the Great Bear. Arcturus is also called the constellation of the Bouvier in French, which is my family name.
Integrated into the grid of the design, the stars express the notions of eternity, space and hope. At the same time, the coloured glasswork echoes the stained glass windows of Bern Cathedral. This historic building, which is 50 cm higher than the Bäre Tower, can be seen from the top of the new building, along with the Federal Palace.
When the sun shines, the reflection of the coloured shapes onto the light-coloured floor increases the dimensions of the artwork and introduces a playful feature to the functional element. From a two dimensional object, it becomes a complete environment that transforms with the hours and the seasons.
Sponsors : Helvetia Verischerungen, Halter AG, Flachglas Gruppe.
Architects : Burkard Meyer, Baden.
With the precious help of Theiler Engineers, Combyart
All photographs ©Ioana Marinescu