Leeds Nuffield Hospital, 2003
High tension cable, stainless steel, oak, slate, glass. 6m high, 600mm diameter
dna sculpture from above

DNA sculpture from the first floor

The sculpture represents a strand of D.N.A. It’s dynamic shape animates the space for the transient population of patients and visitors who move through the building. As a representation of DNA it conveys a further layer of meaning to the hospital staff who use the building daily.

The spiral implies growth and dynamism. This basic geometry is something we relate to instinctively; it’s around us all the time on every scale from D.N.A. to a fern leaf to a galaxy.

Four elements represent the four bases that comprise D.N.A. The cubes are made of stainless steel, oak, glass and slate.

The interplay between these materials creates visual interest. The metal reflects, glass refracts, wood and stone absorb the light. They also have contrasting textures, the metal smooth, hard and cold; the stone rough and cold, the wood soft and warm, the glass silky to the touch.

The whole is strung on tensile cables reaching 6m from ceiling to floor in the front lobby of the building.

dna blocks

Blocks used to make DNA


Showing the spiral effect from the ground level



author image

Sophy King

I work both in the urban landscape and the natural world. Some of my works are large, monumental and industrial; some are softer; some smaller. I try to harness elements beyond my control; glass becomes a channel for light, capturing changes in the atmosphere around it; plant materials make the passage of time and season as important a part of the sculpture as my own object making.

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