Competition for JKU Campus – Outdoor space

On 1 June 2018, the artist Eva Schlegel won BIG’s Kunst & Bau competition for the outdoor area of the new campus of the Johannes Kepler University Linz. The judges also recommended that the project proposal by Anna Jermolaewa / Manfred Grübl be realised in cooperation with Johannes Kepler University.

The judges explained their decision as follows:
“In her design, the artist not only engages intensively with Kepler’s laws in reference to the university’s eponym, but also translates Kepler’s heliocentric world view into a sculpture that provides multiple spatial experiences, allowing users to physically dive into it, in a manner of speaking.
Eva Schlegel’s impressive three-part sculpture-cum-seating in the new library building visualises Kepler’s three laws according to which the orbits of the planets can be calculated, and creates new visual (imaginary) spaces. Two elliptical mirrors with a coordinate system are mounted on the seat and ceiling respectively, and are circumscribed by an ellipse painted onto the floor. All three ellipses have the same focal point. Users entering the installation become part of the infinity mirror effect, where the reflection is thrown back and forth between the seat and the ceiling, and can immerse themselves physically and mentally. Thought processes are stimulated, planetary orbits can be visualised and spatial boundaries overcome.”

Recommendation of the judges:
“Owing to the high artistic quality and identity-enhancing impact of ‘Planetenorchester’ (Orchestra of the Planets) by Anna Jermolaewa and Manfred Grübl, the advisory board recommends implementing this project […]. The design by the collaborating artists Jermolaewa and Grübl draws on Kepler’s 5th Book of The Harmony of the World. They will transfer Kepler’s calculations on the sound of the individual planets to the surface of the promenade like a musical score that then tapers out in an empty stave. These empty spaces allow students to imagine a continuation of Kepler’s philosophical leitmotif of the ‘theory of harmony’. Not least, the design builds a bridge between the past and the future.”