Skyscraper (the Bruges Whale)

Public Sculptures by Studio KCA seen at Bruges, Bruges - Skyscraper (the Bruges Whale)
Public Sculptures by Studio KCA seen at Bruges, Bruges - Skyscraper (the Bruges Whale)Public Sculptures by Studio KCA seen at Bruges, Bruges - Skyscraper (the Bruges Whale)Public Sculptures by Studio KCA seen at Bruges, Bruges - Skyscraper (the Bruges Whale)
Bruges, Bruges, Belgium
"Skyscraper is a physical example of why we need to change how we use and dispose of plastic in the world today" -Lesley Chang, Principal, STUDIOKCA 5 tons of plastic waste pulled out of the Pacific Ocean, turned into a 4 story tall whale for the 2018 Bruges Triennial - a reminder of the 150,000,000 tons of plastic waste still swimming in our waters The organizers of the 2018 Bruges Triennial, approached us to create an artpiece interpreting the idea of the “liquid city”, a concept that defines the city as an ever changing set of consumer transactions, whose identity is in flux as cities grow more and more connected through globalization. Our first thought led us to thinking about the biggest liquid city on the planet (the ocean), how it connects us all, and how the waste produced and consumed in our cities, specifically plastic waste, ends up in the ocean. SO, we proposed collecting as much plastic waste out of the oceans that we could in 4 months, and shaping that waste into Skyscraper, an almost 4 story tall whale pushing out of one of Bruges' main canals, and arching over historic Jan Van Eyck Square at the city's center. Skyscraper was selected along with 14 other installations proposed by a select group of international artists and architects to be brought to life for the event! Scientists estimate there are 150 million tons of plastic trash in the ocean right now, with an estimated 8 million tons added every year. That means, pound for pound, there is more plastic waste from our cities swimming in the ocean than there are whales. A whale, breaching from the water, is the first "skyscraper of the sea", and as the largest mammal in the water, it felt like the right form for our piece to take in order to show the scope and scale of the problem. Working with the Hawaii Wildlife Fund and the Surfrider Foundation Kaui Chapter, we were able to pull over 5 tons of plastic to create Skyscraper.

Meet the Creator

"STUDIOKCA is an award-winning architecture and design firm led by Jason Klimoski and Lesley Chang based in Brooklyn, New York with projects ranging in scale and complexity from lighting fixtures and interiors, to public installations, sculptures and buildings in New York, Vermont, Nevada, Wisconsin, Brazil, Taiwan, and Papua New Guinea.

The practice explores the ways in which context and locality offer opportunities to design and create objects and spaces that respond directly to the demands of their programs and site-specific environmental conditions. With each project, we are interested in how materials can be crafted or purposed to solve a problem, shape a narrative, create a sense of place, and offer a unique solution that resonates with our clients and their sites.

STUDIOKCA has been honored with design awards including four American Institute of Architects Awards (National Small Project Award, AIA California Council Design Honor Award, AIA New York Design Merit Award, and AIA Brooklyn + Queens Design Merit Award), the AIA New York City of Dreams Pavilion Winner, a SARA New York Chapter Design Award of Excellence, two Chicago Athenaeum American Architecture Awards, three Interior Design Magazine Best of Year Award Honors, two Architizer A+ Award Finalists, and The Architect’s Newspaper Best of Young Architects Award Honorable Mention.

The work of the firm has been published in Architectural Record, Interior Design, The Architect's Newspaper, Architectural Digest, Wired, Wallpaper*, The Wall Street Journal, Los Angeles Times, Fast Company, New York Magazine, Time Out New York, and broadcast on The Weather Channel, CNN, and Discovery Channel.

The firm's public pavilions and installations, such as Head in the Clouds, A Comet Lands in Brooklyn (Rosetta), NASA Orbit Pavilion, Drop, Skyscraper (the Bruges Whale), Night and Day, have been exhibited on Governors Island and Brooklyn Bridge Park in New York City, at the Center For Architecture in New York, the AIA National Convention, the World Science Festival, The Exploratorium Museum, The Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum, The Huntington Library, Art Collection, and Botanical Gardens, Jan Van Eyck Square in Bruges, Belgium, and at the Jockey Club in Sao Paulo, Brazil."

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