Jean Tinguely's Cascade Model

FEBRUARY 06, 2017


In 1989, Andreas Bechtler commissioned "Cascade" from long-time family friend Jean Tinguely. A 40-foot sculpture hung over a fountain, it would be the last kinetic sculpture ever made before Tinguely passed away in 1991. That same year, "Cascade" was hung in the lobby of the Carillon building in Uptown Charlotte, an office tower developed by the Bechtler's commercial real estate company, Hesta AG. The original can still be seen at the Carillon, located at 227 W. Trade Street. Read more about "Cascade" here.

In 2000, Andreas Bechtler commissioned local model builder Gene Hopkins to create a ¼ scale model replica of the sculpture, complete with rotating mobile parts, working lights, and a fountain. Hopkins fashioned every piece of the mobile by hand, an ironic turn on Tinguely’s original, where all the components were found and collected. The model was completed in 2004 and was originally intended to be installed in the lobby of the museum which was then planned to be located in Mt. Holly on the campus of the Little Italy Peninsula Arts Center, Andreas' artistic haven. However, when plans for the museum were later changed to an Uptown location, the "Cascade" model sat dormant for several years.

In February of 2017, the "Cascade" model was restored and installed in the lobby of the Bechtler by Gene Hopkins and in partnership with Wagner Murray Architects. The model is a stunning replication of the original and shows Hopkins' extreme attention to detail. Visitors can see the model whenever they like, as it requires no museum admission to see, and it is also located just inside the glass walls of the lobby where it can be seen from the Bechtler plaza.

Click the video below to see a time lapse of the installation of "Cascade", courtesy of The Charlotte Observer.

Click the video below to see Andreas Bechtler speak about "Cascade".

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