Art Therapy helps visitors heal in Abu Dhabi hospital

Published 1 Feb 2021

LASVIT has decorated the interior of the Burjeel Medical City hospital in Abu Dhabi with a giant glass pendulum. Drawing in the sand offers a sense of peace and a pendulum swaying in seemingly never-ending motion feels almost hypnotic.

At first glance, LASVIT’s new installation called Art Therapy looks like a giant piece of jewellery. The 16-meter-high pendulum sways above 50 m2 of sand. Moreover, it uses its sharp point to draw into the sand below. All patients and visitors of Abu Dhabi’s modern and luxurious hospital can enjoy the sight of our first ever installation which is able to draw.

Its intelligent software knows how to depict traditional Arabic symbols or various soothing figures. The pendulum’s movement is driven by three hidden engines, so the overall design is perfectly streamlined. The motion itself is handled by two “invisible” ropes.

I love to connect modern technologies with design and sculptures. For me, this pendulum is a symbol of vibrant life and the passage of time. It is simultaneously an item with a hypnotic and maybe even a healing effect,” says the design’s author Wanda Valihrachová. It is obvious why she has named this project Art Therapy.

It could take as long as an hour before the sharp tip of the pendulum finishes its drawing. Just watching this process is a form of profound and rejuvenating therapy. In the end, the installation’s automatic function erases the drawing and the process starts all over again.

There is a device where the intended figure can be drawn by hand, and which the pendulum then writes into the sand. Tereza Medřická, LASVIT’s project manager says: “This is a touch panel. It is recessed into the wall, and is installed in the atrium of the hospital, near the sculpture itself.”

Lasvit developed this special super-smart guiding system in close-knit collaboration with Liberec’s VÚTS. This top-notch software has been programmed to create almost anything, but the motif must first be set by the hospital staff.

Wanda has designed the installation carefully with respect to the principles of the Middle Eastern design tradition and architecture. “The astonishing shape of the pendulum’s body was inspired by the interior of Burjeel hospital. The object itself is essential as it carries the idea and the message within it, while the lighting plays just the supporting role. This concept represents the opposite of what LASVIT usually does. This time, I chose this approach in order to show LASVIT as a much more wide-ranging and diversely oriented manufacturer. Our work goes far beyond the lightings,” adds Wanda.

Nevertheless, the installation uses 300 Czech crystal pipes, and every single one has its own light source, so the entire piece, as well as the drawing below, are gently lighted. All glass components were made in the Czech Republic, and the whole installation weighs almost 620 kg.

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