Mechanical Whale

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Client

   The Nantucket Hotel

Designers

    Salmon Studios

    Modvic

Year

    2012

Location

    Nantucket, MA

  A fantastic collaboration between Salmon Studios and Boston Steam-punk Guru, Bruce Rosenbaum of Modvic, this mechanical whale sculpture presented several design and logistical challenges. Conceived as the lobby centerpiece for the newly renovated Hotel Nantucket, the whale was intended to be both sculptural and functional. A button behind the counter operates the mouth and tail through a series of actuated movements. A window on the side allows for viewers to see how it works and the whale’s eye is a webcam with working shutter.

  Salmon Studios created a 3-D CAD model for the whale’s structural ribs and covering based on a sketch from Modvic. Unrolling this model in the computer gave us flat templates that could be band-sawed out and rolled to shape. The mechanics to operate the mouth and tail were installed, circuits wired in and finally, the hand carved mahogany elements could be added.