When Installations Become Iconic

Installations do much more than just enhance a space – they inspire, they embody values and they represent a culture, a thought or people. Some can be so powerful in their provocation of thoughts and changing of place, that they take on an iconic status. UAP has been honoured to deliver several iconic projects and here’s a few of our recent exemplary works delivered all over the world:

Wahat Al Karama

Wahat Al Karama, created in collaboration with renowned British artist Idris Khan, is comprised of The Memorial and Pavilion of Honour which has become an iconic backdrop for all of Abu Dhabi’s high level heads of state visits. The Monument is made up of 31 aluminium vertical tablets, the largest soaring 23 metres in height. The tablets appear to gently rest on each other, symbolizing the united strength of the seven nations of the UAE. It features Arabic poems and quotes from both the late Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan and Sheikh Mohamed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan and entice the viewer to read, reflect and touch the artwork, creating a personal relationship with the Memorial.

The Pavilion of Honour marks the end of the memorial journey as a place of reflection and honour. The circular structure is centred by seven standing glass panels surrounded by a water feature, and 2,800 aluminium plates inscribed with the names of the UAE’s heroes.

Wahat Al Karama by Idris Khan, Abu Dhabi, UAE. Images by Jonathan Gainer Surface Photography 

XXX Times Square with Love

Jürgen Mayer’s XXX seating-sculpture project in the centre of New York City’s Times Square has changed the way locals and tourists experience this world-famous intersection. The three x-shaped, fluorescent-pink lounges encourage users to view the city from a different perspective – while lying down, they have a vertical view of the skyscape around them.

The impact of XXX Times Square with Love is evidenced in the way users engage with the work and share that engagement with the world. It has entered popular culture, with the installation being given its own hashtag on social media platform Instagram.

XXX Times Square With Love by J. Mayer H. und Partner, New York, North America. Images by Rob Kassabian & Marsha Ginsberg for Times Square Arts

tow row

Representing a traditional fishing net used by Aboriginal people, tow row references the ancestor spirit of Kurilpa. The collaboration between Judy Watson and UAP has been installed at the entrance of Brisbane’s Gallery of Modern Art, bringing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture to the forefront of visitors’ minds.

tow row by Judy Watson, Brisbane, Australia. Images by Roger D’Souza


Kraken, the brainchild of internationally renowned artist Florentijn Hofman, is considered iconic not only because it is one-of-a-kind, but because of how the work reimagines how children play. The giant octopus, installed in Shenzhen, China, is a unique playscape that encourages children to climb through the sculpture’s tentacles to the centre chamber via a series of nets and ropes. It shifts the way children play and how they interact with the harbour-side location.

Kraken by Florentijn Hofman, Shenzhen, China. Images by Charlie Xia


UAP worked closely with artist Emily Floyd for her sculpture Jackalope, a six-metre jackrabbit with antelope horns. It has been installed in the forecourt of the Jackalope Hotel on Victoria’s Mornington Peninsula. As one of Australia’s most awarded hotels last year, the artwork plays a vital role in shaping visitors’ first impressions and lends a whimsical element to the accommodation.

Jackalope by Emily Floyd, Mornington Peninsula, Australia. Images by Sharyn Cairns and Roger D’Souza

UAP Studio Principal Carolyn Karnovsky says

“An artwork that is successful in telling an authentic story, something that people can connect with on an emotional or even playful level, has the potential to become an icon. It represents something real, something memorable, defining your experience of that place.”

Projects are elevated to iconic status when they connect with the community, reinvent a space, represent a feeling, reimagine an activity, and reference a culture. UAP is honoured to have been involved in creating projects which alter people and places.

For more information on the projects and how UAP can help with your future iconic projects, contact anyone from our New Business Team.

Text by Clare Christensen for UAP