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Ceiling Art in the Staff Restaurant

The staff restaurant in the modernized wing of the former Nationale Suisse head office in Basel is a central meeting place for many of those who work there. This also makes it eminently suitable as a place for an art intervention. Daniel Robert Hunziker rose to the challenge by installing a remarkable ceiling sculpture.

The salient characteristic of the new staff restaurant on Steinengraben is the interaction of interior and exterior and of place and environs set in motion by its facetted ceiling. Aligned along a north-south axis, it is a long space whose glass façades on either side let in plenty of morning and evening sunlight. The sunbeams enter the building at a low angle, making for a mild light that varies in quality depending on the weather and time of year. The ceiling designed by Daniel Robert Hunziker provides so many different projection surfaces for this incident light that it takes on a visually and atmospherically poetic presence in the room.

Pyramids in the ceiling

The entire ceiling is covered in flat, three-sided pyramids, which in shape, size, and arrangement follow a somewhat loosely interpreted grid pattern. Facing in all directions, their variously aligned triangular surfaces catch the incident light and reflect it back in varying degrees of brightness and colour. The interaction of the sculpted ceiling and natural play of light has a rhythmically stimulating impact that is at once both subtle and striking. It also intensifies the dialogue between the attractive views of the city and the architecture enabling them.

Daniel Robert Hunziker

Daniel Robert Hunziker is an object artist and conceptualist whose entire oeuvre is informed by his architectural grasp of the division and modelling of space, as is especially apparent in his precision choice of materials and colours. Born in Walenstadt in 1965, Hunziker lives and works in Zurich.

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