Saturday, December 31, 2011

Dulsberg, Germany, has been ornamented with a walk-on sculpture compliments of Hamburg artists Heike Mutter and Ulrich Genth. The staired roller coaster, entitled "Tiger & Turtle - Magic Mountain," took roughly 8 weeks to construct and debuted in November. Made of zinc-plated steel at a cost of $2.7 million (2.08 million) it stands 67 1/2' (20.6m) and has a track 721 1/2' (220m) long. Although visitors can't walk the loop, the rest of the sculpture offers a "thrill-ride inspired view" of the surrounding German countryside. According to the press release, "Tiger & Turtle" embodies the contradiction of speed and deadlock, and places it within the context of change in the region and its turn toward renaturation and restructuring. The site-specific public sculpture, which can be characterized as absurdist because of the inherent expectation its appearance sets up, is destined to become a trans‐regional landmark while refusing definite interpretation.
Medellin, Colombia, has been outfitted with a giant outdoor escalator thanks to urban officials. The $6.7 million project spares the 12,000 residents of a tough hillside neighborhood of having to climb up and down 100s of large steps that are the equivalent of ascending and descending a 28-story building. "This is a dream come true," say residents, whose hike is hereby shortened from 35 minutes to 6. The electric stairway is divided into 6 sections with an overall length of 1,260' (384m), and use is free. The Comuna 13 district has been plagued by violence, but Mayor Alonso Salazar says, "...lately this has been receding and we hope this social package will help it move forward." He concludes, "It turned out very well."

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