Kenneth Snelson’s sculptures are reminiscent of bridges, cranes and electricity pylons or the skeletons of skyscrapers. They are arrangements of elements in space. Snelson is fascinated by universal geometric principles. With the precision of a scientist, he seeks to gain deeper insight into the way in which nature builds structures.
Needle tower is a slender, flexible tower that seems to disappear into infinity. The tower is constructed of steel cables and aluminium rods, which become increasingly smaller and thinner towards the top and appear to be floating. Seen from directly underneath, the structure forms a star-shaped web.
Snelson studied at the Black Mountain College in North Carolina in 1948-1949. There he developed the principle of ‘tensegrity’: a balanced equilibrium of pushing and pulling forces. Visual criteria play no role in this. In Needle tower, he also applies this principle. The tower remains upright thanks to the pulling and pushing forces in the connections between the aluminium rods and the steel cables.