Cultural Source

As Jeddah is the gateway to Mecca, the airport is a highly-charged link between man and faith. The pendulum is a perfect expression of a physical, intellectual and spiritual connection between earth-bound humanity and the heavens above. David HarberScroll for more
Large indoor sculpture pendulum for King Abdulaziz international airport, Jeddah

The client brief for the interiors of the new King Abdulaziz International Airport, Jeddah was to create an artistic exemplar through commissioned artworks that reflect the cultural identity of the Middle East.

David Harber was invited by Areen Design, the interior designers for the project, to submit sculptural artworks, one of which was a huge pendulum, inspired by astronomer Ibn Yunus, who is said to have created the first pendulum over 1,000 years ago.

David's 2.4m pendulum sculpture has a mirrored surface that is designed both to reflect and distort its surroundings with each swing.

Sketches for Jeddah airport pendulum

Due to the proximity to the equator and to ensure its regularity, the progression and continuity of movement is regulated by an array of robotics and micro-processing.

Two mechanisms are used: one to enable it to swing accurately from side to side, another to control its rotational transit.

Beneath the pendulum is a plinth incorporating sections which mark the time in five-minute increments. An LED flashes upon the pendulum's approach, and becomes permanently lit until midnight when the sequence restarts.


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