Floralis Genérica

A mechanised tribute to nature, controlled by the sun.

Named "Floralis Genérica" in hommage to all flowers, this 20m-high, 18-tonne sculpture dominates the Plaza de las Naciones Unidas.

Unveiled in the year 2002, it was probably the world's first mobile public sculpture to be controlled by hydraulics and photoelectric sensors. It is made from aluminium and stainless steel, and was donated to the city of Buenos Aires by its creator, Argentine architect Eduardo Catalano, who dreamed of creating a sculpture that would reflect the dynamism of time.

Catalano once said the sculpture was "a synthesis of all the flowers and a hope that is reborn every day."

The six steel petals open at 8am each morning, and close at sunset, when the centre of the sculpture emanates a red glow. The petals also close in high winds in order to protect the sculpture.