piole Kabuto - CODAworx

piole Kabuto

Client: piole, Himeji, Japan Railway Co. Ltd.

Location: Rooftop of Piole, Himeji (luxury shopp, Japan

Completion date: 2014

Artwork budget: $85,000

Project Team


Joe O'Connell

Creative Machines


Creative Machines

Creative Machines


piole Kabuto is an abstract interactive sculpture composed of polished stainless steel. The sculpture marries the modern aesthetic of the piole HIMEJI shopping center with forms and construction methods used in the nearby Himeji Castle, a UNESCO world heritage site. The layering of the roof tiles on the castle inspired the layering of the sculpture's curved scales. The piece contains more than 1,300 scales each unique in shape and size. The silhouette of the sculpture references Kabuto (Samurai helmets) and the Kuwagata beetle that inspired the helmet's design.


The shape of the sculpture invites adults and children to sit in the piece and alludes to the well-known V-sign that tourists are fond of making in photographs. At night, visitors can control the color of two optical projectors that cast sharp shadows of the people sitting on the sculpture onto the large white walls. These shadows can be seen from Himeji Castle a mile away.

Additional Information

Materials: stainless steel, visitor controlled LED lighting, custom optics | Dimensions: 7' x 3' x 9'