Art’s place is not just in galleries. Art -more specifically public art, has the power to make the difference, to put whole urban areas on the map. It can change our cities -and the way we live- just like architecture.
Public art plays an important role in raising the cultural quality and social attractiveness of urban areas. Plus it enhances the sense of spatial recognition. Visual space perception is a psychological process in which landmarks are of paramount importance. Landmarks can be buildings as well as works of art, placed in public spaces. They serve as reference points in navigation through the city.
The power of public art
Public art is accessible to all. There is not a specific audience to which it is addressed. Public art not only influences its environment but also it is influenced by it. The same work of art may look different when you see it in another urban context, in another square. Public art is in constant dialogue, in a fluid, ever-changing balance with the architecture that surrounds it. You can never neglect it. No matter how many times one may have seen the Cloud Gate in Chicago by Anish Kapoor, one can never just walk on by, without looking at it.
Most importantly, urban interventions which involve art to a great extend, can change the overall value (financially and also emotionally) of whole areas. Contemporary urban planning always counts on public art. Architecture and art work hand in hand in reshaping and revitalizing neighborhoods. Architects who can see that, are very well aware of art’s power and seek to reclaim it in their projects.
The case of Sani Dunes
Nobody denies that art can make the difference. Either in a public space – like a city square – or in a building of commercial use, like a shopping center or a museum. Or even in a hospitality project like a hotel.
This is the case of our project Sani Dunes in Halkidiki. At its main lobby an impressive permanent art installation by the Greek sculptor Costas Varotsos greets travelers, making a powerful first impression. Highly sentimental, it immediately sets the hotel apart. And that is something that only art can do -at first sight.