“Take it easy like Pelousen Jätte – one of the Vårbergs Giants – that is as of recently now resting on a lawn in Stockholm and on which people are encouraged to romp around on,” as aptly titled by Arte-art, the art magazine, in December of 2020, in reporting on this extraordinary project of the artists Xavier Veilhan and Alexis Bertrand. The wish of the two artists and the city is that the people who live here and visitors to the Swedish metropolis could play, picnic and relax on it.
An extraordinary project by the Veilhan-Bertrand team for their client Stockholm konst: they have created two monumental sculptures in Vårberg, a suburb southwest of Stockholm, as a public artwork entitled “Vårbergs jättar.“ The competition, to which bids were internationally invited in the fall of 2017, was organized by Stockholm konst with the support of Swedish Architects. Five artists were invited to sketch. The winner was chosen by a jury of experts, architects and artists, including Ernst Billgren and Anita Krug. The objective was to create a work of art that would become a place of encounter for the residents of that urban quarter, and to strengthen the identity of that part of the city. Within the scope of the urban development project Fokus Skärholmen for the city of Stockholm, the city offered a prize award of 16 million Swedish crowns for creation of a public artwork in the Vårberg quarter of the city. Until now, the project is the largest individual investment in an artistic creation in the city of Stockholm. In June of 2018, the French artist Xavier Veilhan, with the proposed title “Vårbergs Jättar,” (Vårbergs Giants) Jättar won the art competition.
200 tons distributed over 89 individual concrete elements
The white-cement concrete used here, dyed with cobalt-blue pigments, was executed as cast stone with shot-blasted surfaces. Given the dimensions of the two sculptures, “Pelousen Jätte“ (19.0 x 8.5 x 5.0 meters) and “Strakparten Jätte” (3.1 x 2.3 x 3.1 meters), and the shape in the style of “Low Poly Art”, consideration followed of execution with precast concrete components that would merely have to be assembled and installed at the construction site.
The company BB Beton in Zeulenroda in Germany manufactured 89 individual parts with a total mass of just short of 200 tons for the two figures. Production time was 3 months, with subsequent transport to Stockholm. For production of the geometrically challenging shapes, conventional wooden formwork was used in combination with molded parts of 3D-printed BioPLA, supplemented by CNC-milled polystyrene elements contour elements from a third-party provider.
BB Beton und Bauwaren
+49 36628 692-0
– Client: Stockholm konst
– Artists: Xavier Veilhan, Alexis Bertrand
– Project coordinator: Atelier Xavier Veilhan Martin Coevoet
– Production of the dyed precast concrete components and coordination of production and delivery: BB Beton and Bauwaren
– Manufacture of the major part of the mold parts: Suppelt CNC
– Installation of the precast components: Herrljunga Terrazzo
– Landscape architecture and garden and landscaping products: from Nivå Landskapsarkitektur & Y2 Anläggning