Art > Architecture > The Essen Towers



The Essen Towers


  Essen, Germany

This commission was given to me after The Marketing Department of the City of Essen's director saw the presentation of my recent concepts. After initial contacts and discussions the full project was developed and the design team was formed between German engineering studios and Japanese TOHO Studios, NSG Company and Oki Electronics of Tokyo."The Essen Towers" will be the largest interactive installation created so far, spanning the whole downtown of Essen in the giant triangle measuring 2100 meters by 1000 meters by 950 meters.Each tower will be around 50 meters high. The towers will symbolize the main historic industries of Essen:

Coal and Steel
and the Future

Each tower will have a distinctive character, the first one will be built from red steel with a spectacular glass rod inserted inside its main frame. During the night the glass rod will start to glow with intense red light, a true symbol of steel... Then a laser beam will link the top of the first tower with the next one, The Tower of Energy. This tower will start it's spectacle inside the long triangular rod of blue glass running almost the entire length of the tower.

The climax will be in the form of white thunderbolt-like effects inside the rod, the symbol of high energy.... Then the laser will run from The Tower of Steel to the third tower, The Tower of Light situated on the extreme left point of the giant triangle.

The Tower of Light will come alive and slowly all 30 spherical elements forming the spine of the structure will be illuminated from the inside by strong color lights... Finally, the effect will be quite startling, the whole tower will look like a giant necklace of light...

After the three towers will come to full life (about 30 minutes), the laser beam will link them with the last one, The Tower of the Future. This structure emphasizes the real future of Essen industry in the upcoming century, the electronics, new technologies of glass and composites, ceramics and light materials.

The tower of the future will utilize many of these exotic technologies and the spectacle created within it's structure will be the most elaborate and startling.

The UMU Glass canopy, the illuminated glass rods and special projection systems carefully orchestrated will help in delivering a 15 minute long spectacle full of visual surprises...

The entire spectacle will last for little more than 45 minutes, electronic sounds will accompany the visual changes. Slowly, the effects will fade away and the night will overwhelm the downtown area.

After a 15 minute pause the spectacle will start again with a slightly different sequence of effects. The program will continue until midnight every night of the year.

-Jan Sawka
The Sawka Team

Tower of Steel

Tower of Energy

Tower of Light

Tower of Future




All artworks/images copyright Jan Sawka Estate