Fingerprint next to the House of Finance

A huge fingerprint, covering an area of 1,500 square meters, will be set up soon between the Faculties of Law and Economics building and the House of Finance. With her sketch the U.S. artist Pae White won a competition of Goethe University Frankfurt for the artistic design of the Campus Westend that took place within the framework of the Hessian initiative “art-in-architecture” (“Kunst am Bau”). The winners were announced on Thursday, 11 December.

Pae White, born in 1963, became famous during the 1990s with her mobiles that appear to be weightless. In her work she creates a dialogue between visual architecture and design. The object designed for Goethe University is titled “FingerPlinth“. It represents an oversized fingerprint whose lines are plinths of different height and, thus, remind of a labyrinth or amphitheater.

According to White’s concept, the lines of the fingerprint will be created of Texan hard limestone which will stick out of a gravel bed. Some plinths resemble paving stones, while others clearly “grow” out of the basic level. The whole construction is pervaded by a golden track. “FingerPlinth“ is integrated in the relationship between humans and the world, the artist explained her concept. With that it fits in well on the campus where law, economics and business administration, the humanities and social sciences as well as psychology are at home. It should be an object with a function: FingerPlinth provides space for sitting and thinking, for movement and accidental meetings.

“I liked Pae White‘s ‘FingerPlinth’ right away,“ University President Werner Müller-Esterl said after the decision was made. “The huge fingerprint is not only inventive and meaningful but could also become a meeting place in the area between Campus Westend and Grüneburgpark.”

Famous German and international artists had been invited to the competition that took place in September. According to the call for tenders, the designs should be linked to the University, its environment and history but also to its diversity and internationality. Eight artists participated with ambitious designs and concepts. The jury was composed of the Hessian art advisory council, University President Werner Müller-Esterl, the head of the University’s property management, Albrecht Fester, as well as of art experts with a consultative function.