The atrium experienced a bit of visual change over spring break, when a large metal sphere was first delivered. LM alumnus Peter Gard ’93 has been working on a sculpture for the school since before the new building was even constructed. “When we first began talking about a sculpture for the new school, I immediately knew that I wanted to use parts of the old school in the work,” Gard says. After walking through the old school, he was inspired by the maroon and yellow lockers and spent an entire day cutting and dismantling them, salvaging over 150 doors. At this point, he was equipped with materials, but not a direction to go with them. “Materials inspire me,” says Gard. “The lockers have so much inherent content that I wanted to keep them as recognizable as I could.” Gard worked with engineers in order to figure out what shapes to cut the locker doors into and how to get all the pieces to come together.
The seven-and-a-half foot sphere is comprised of warped and melded lockers and will hang in the lower atrium. Gard used numerous techniques in order to shape the steel lockers into a spherical shape. The doors were rolled or bent to a specific radius by a large machine called a plate roller. “Typically this type of machine is used to turn flat sheets of steel into arcs or tubes,” elaborates Gard. “Because welding would have burned the paint of the doors, I used bolts and screws to make all the connections.” Gard, along with his team of engineers, has logged over two hundred hours on the project—two hundred hours of rolling, bending and shaping solid steel into a nearly 700 pound globe of lockers.
The crew was able to complete a rig with which to hang the sculpture, and it will be installed in the coming weeks. “There’s a lot of parts in this project,” comments maintenance coordinator Gary Musial. Musial adds, “The element of sway, we have to account for that.”
The project has actually been completed for around two years, and will be hanging in the atrium by the end of the school year. So next time you walk through the lower atrium, look up for a spherical surprise!