Bernar Venet

Sculptor: Bernar Venet.

In a career spanning 50 years French artist Bernar Venet is a major contributor to modern art. His works look equally at home in the world’s greatest art galleries or outdoors complementing hallowed artistic sites such as the palace at Versailles.

One of Bernar’s latest works, in the Corten steel he favours, sits atop a hill at Gibbs Farm. ‘88.5° Arc x 8’ stands 27m tall and consists of eight steel arcs apparently poised on the very edge of balance. We captured the geometry of Bernar’s concept in drawings and designed the foundations and steel box sections necessary to counter the large forces involved and to withstand heavy wind loads.

With a windy hilltop site above the water, wind loads are around six times greater than Bernar’s works encounter in Europe. To avoid the vibrations that square sections are prone to in heavy wind we employed a damping technique first used by NASA on Saturn launch rockets. A length of heavy steel chain, inside the top of each arc, is tuned such that its swing counters any wind-induced vibration.

Sculptural Projects

MARIJKE de GOEY Bernar Venet