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Piole Kabuto is an abstract sculpture made from polished stainless steel. It is made from many curved scales that fit together in a way reminiscent of the roof tiles at Himeji Castle, a UNESCO world heritage site that can be seen from the rooftop the sculpture sits upon. The effect is to marry the modern materials and clean aesthetic of the piole shopping center with forms and construction methods used in Himeji Castle and traditional architecture of the region. The form is inspired by Samurai helmets (Kabuto) and the Kuwagata beetle that inspired these helmets.
The shape of the sculpture invites visitors to sit on it or lift their children for photographs and the shape alludes to the well-known V-sign that tourists are fond of making in photographs. At night, visitors can control the color of two optical projectors that cast sharp shadows of them sitting on the sculpture onto the large white walls of the mall where they are visible from up to one mile away.
7' x 3' x 9'
stainless steel, visitor controlled LED lighting, custom optics
rooftop of piole shopping center in Himeji, Japan
piole, Japan Railway Co., Ltd.