Carsten Höller’s first giant slides in the US open in Miami

carsten-holler-aventura-slide-towerDan Howarth

Belgian artist Carsten Höller has created one of his massive slide towers at a shopping mall north of Miami, where visitors can race each other down its pair of tunnels.

The 93-foot-tall (28-meters) structure opened this past weekend at the Aventura Mall and is the artist’s first permanent installation in the US. Local firm Permuy Architecture served as the project architect.

Accessed via a spiral staircase that climbs nine stories, its two slides corkscrew in opposite directions.

Riders can reach up to 15 miles per hour while racing one-another down the enclosed barrels, which are metal on the bottom and transparent on top.

The speed of travel often invokes shouts and screams from those descending, according to the Stockholm-based artist. “It’s fitting that my last name is Höller,” he told Dezeen.

The Aventura Slide Tower was commissioned for the expansion of the mall, which boasts a collection of contemporary art that includes works by Daniel Arsham, Louise Bourgeois, and Jorge Pardo.

Also created for the project and situated next to the slide is a fountain of large cartoon-like bronze monkeys by the LA-based Haas Brothers.

The idea to enlist Höller came after mall’s curators saw his slide at the Vitra Campus in Germany.

The new commission has many similar features to the Vitra installation, including the circular viewing platform at the top and clock face above, but distinctively includes two slides rather than one.

Höller told Dezeen that the project took two years from conception to opening, working with a team of engineers to design and build the structure, and comply with strict US safety regulations.

The artist has also created slides at the Anish Kapoor-designed ArcelorMittal Orbit in London’s Olympic Park, and at the city’s Haywood Gallery as part of a wider exhibition of his work.

In Miami, he recently presented The Prada Double Club – a pop-up nightclub with dual personalities that opened for three nights during Art Basel in December 2017.