Dezeen Magazine

Giles Miller's Penny-Half Sphere sculpture is a "double-sided portal" hanging above a stream

Hundreds of reflective "pennies" form this spherical sculpture, created by Giles Miller's London design studio for Devon's Broomhill Sculpture Park (+ movie).

The Penny-Half Sphere is made up of hundreds of small, circular stainless steel pieces that reflect their surroundings as they move.

Penny Half Sphere by Giles Miller Studio

Each circle is embedded into a gridded framework made up of lengths of walnut timber. They come together to form a larger sphere that has been suspended over a stream.

The sculpture is designed to move in the breeze, causing the sphere to rotate and create flashing reflections of the nearby trees and water as it does so.

Penny Half Sphere by Giles Miller Studio

"The structure appears as a mass of light that evokes a kind of digital chaos," said the studio. "In construction it is in fact the antithesis of technological and merely mirrors light in a controlled way so as to appear as a kind of double-sided portal, contrasting as well as relating to the surrounding woodlands."

The wood was chosen as a reference to the surrounding trees. Miller aimed to make the sculpture merge into the woodland and give the appearance of pennies floating in midair.

Penny Half Sphere by Giles Miller Studio

The shape of the pennies was chosen to echo the round form of the sculpture, as well as a reference to the "fundamentally organic shape" associated with natural sources of light.

"The sun as our ultimate source of light appears spherical, and hence these tiny vessels of reflection as well as the sculpture itself mimic that ultimately natural source of light, life and inspiration," Miller told Dezeen.

Penny Half Sphere by Giles Miller Studio

The studio designed a similarly reflective piece for Clerkenwell Design Week 2013, creating a mirrored target out of thousands of brass and steel pixels.

Miller also contributed an installation to this year's Clerkenwell Design Week, in the form of four glass tile-covered "billboards", designed to guide visitors through the festival.

The Half-Penny Sphere is the studio's first outdoor, site-specific sculpture. It was commissioned as part of the Broomhill Art and Sculpture Foundation's annual National Sculpture Prize.

Penny Half Sphere by Giles Miller Studio

Other installation that used reflective materials to create visual illusions include Chilean architects Guillermo Hevia García and Nicolás Urzúa's mirror-fenced garden, and artist John Miller's bewildering reflective maze.

Photography is by Richard Chivers.