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Our Glacial Perspectives, the glass and steel astronomical observatory one step from heaven

Olafur Eliasson, the famous Danish / Icelandic artist, for the installation of his latest work “Our Glacial Perspectives”, a unique and singular creation, has chosen South Tyrol, at 3,212 meters above sea level in Val Senales.

The artist who has a penchant for ecology and respect for the environment is known for having exhibited his creation The Weather Project (2003) and Ice Watch (2014) twice at the Tate Modern in London. This work was visited by over 5 million spectators. In London, the same artist also brought his Waterfalls, an 11-meter waterfall that has been around the world passing through Sydney, New York, Sao Paulo and Versailles.

In Italy, in South Tyrol on Mount Grawand, the artist has created a permanent sculpture in glass and steel, a symbol of the particular experience of time and space.

The work is located at the end of a very suggestive path with nine gates positioned at intervals proportional to the duration of the ice ages and interglacial of the Earth.

It is a path that passes through the mountain for a distance of 410 meters, along the crest of the Hochjochferner glacier on the border between Italy and Austria.

The path leads to a permanent structure made of glass and steel of 20 tons. A ring sector with a diameter of about 8 meters that wraps around a circular platform overlooking Mount Grawand.

This creation offers a 360-degree view of the surrounding peaks, a unique panorama that highlights the importance of nature in an ecosystem as delicate as the mountain one.
The construction can be used by the viewer as a real astronomical instrument.

The rings that make up the structure follow the apparent path of the sun in the sky, dividing the year into equal time intervals.
The upper ring retraces the path of the sun in the summer solstice, the central rings follow the equinoxes, while the lower ring retraces the winter solstice.

Each ring is in turn divided into rectangular glass plates that cover a space of 15 minutes of the sun’s path in the sky, allowing the viewer to trace the time of day based on the position of the sun.
The glass plates have colors of different shades of blue, following the same principle as the cyanometer.
The cyanometer is an ancient instrument invented by the founding father of mountaineering Horace Bรฉnรฉdict de Saussure and is used to “measure” the blue color of the sky in relation to the humidity of the air and therefore to the altitude above sea level.

The horizon line is represented by two metal rings outside the pavilion, while the four half rings supporting the entire structure symbolize the north, south, east and west axes.


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