New public art in Durham Road garden

artworkWe’ve installed some new public art inspired by the work of Nobel prize-winning scientist Sir Hans Krebs.

The spherical structures, designed by local artists David Appleyard and Owen Waterhouse, are a new addition to our landscaped garden on the corner of Durham road behind the Octagon Centre.

The Durham Road garden project was carried out to improve the space and make it welcoming and tranquil.

Made from timber, cast iron and carbon fibre developed at our University, the new artworks are designed to visually represent the nuclei of cells.

Sir Hans Krebs discovered the citric acid cycle, also known as the Krebs cycle, while working as an academic at the University of Sheffield between 1935 and 1954.

His theory explains one of the most fundamental processes of life: the conversion of food into energy within a cell. The cycle is a series of reactions that occur when proteins, fats and carbohydrates are metabolised by enzymes to release energy.

The new artwork represents the bonding of elements such as carbon, oxygen and hydrogen within this cycle and the physical shape represents the nucleus found within all elements.

The process of making these structures involved the specialist skills of many individuals and companies across our city.

The timber sculpture was crafted by Finbarr Lucas with CNC profiling undertaken by Cutting Edge Woodwork. It comprises 85 individually laminated and profiled triangular Iroko sections bonded together.

The carbon fibre sculpture was created by research students at the Composite Systems Innovation Centre (Andrew Cartledge, Ying Lan And and Roderick Ramsdale-Capper) with the process overseen by Dr. Simon Hayes. A mould was machined by Special Engineering Solutions Ltd into which the carbon fibre was laid.

The cast iron sculpture was produced by Charles H.Coward, a family-run foundry.

About Sir Hans Krebs

Sir Hans Krebs was born in Hildesheim in northern Germany in 1900. He was Jewish and was forced to flee Germany in 1933 after being dismissed from his post at the University of Freiburg following Hitler’s rise to power. He came to England as a refugee and initially worked at the University of Cambridge before he took up a post at the University of Sheffield in 1935 where he worked for 19 years.