Designed by Czech artistic genius David Cerny, Metalmorphosis is an iconic landmark in the Whitehall Corporate Center in Charlotte, North Carolina. It is a continually shifting, edgy, and unique metallic structure in the shape of a human head. The 7-meter, 13-ton sculpture overlooks a reflecting pool and continuously ejects a stream of water from its mouth.
Metalmorphosis is made up of 40 distinct layers of stainless steel. Each is designed to articulate in 7 places, allowing it to move independently from all each other. This movement is controlled remotely. At certain times, the pieces align perfectly, forming the silhouette of a human head. You can enjoy this spectacle all day and even in the comfort of your own home, via surveillance cameras that monitor it 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
The innovative piece was the brainchild of Count Riprand Arco, then the chairman of the American Asset Corporation. His vision was to have a grand centerpiece for the company’s new 200-acre development, the Whitehall Corporate Center. It was meant to inspire visitors and the residents of Charlotte, and give them a lasting symbol in which to represent the vibrant city.
To help enact his dream, he tapped into the creative genius of David Cerny. Cerny got that direction and turned it into a masterpiece all his own. He envisioned a piece that masterfully showcases the marriage of form and function. It turned into a work of art made up of a complex interplay of parts that create a beautiful and mesmerizing choreography on a bigger scale.
Such was the artistic impact of Metalmorphosis that it later inspired a similar structure in Prague. The larger version, also designed by Cerny, featured the head of Franz Kafka and stands at 11 meters tall and weighs over 45 tons.