Susanna Heron

‘Aquaduct’, Susanna Heron

HS Projects developed the public art strategy and project brief for the re-development of The Brunswick Centre on behalf of Allied London. With such an iconic building it was critical to find an artist who could collaborate with the architects Levitt Bernstein Associates and Patrick Hodgkinson to produce a work that relates to the architecture of the building.

Recognising that it was important to address the site as a whole when commissioning the public art, we decided to take an art and architecture approach to re-designing the space to draw people in and create the right environment. Susanna Heron was selected to respond to the site and collaborate on the design with the architects for her ability to work with space and water.  Effective and close collaboration between artist and architects, brought about an effective and practical design for the street. This included, for example, the banding design for the paving to give a for-shortening effect to the ‘street’ to open the space up and draw visitors in.

The collaboration between artist and architects in the design of the public art was supported by Camden Council and local residents. The outcome of their collaboration, a site specific art and architecture approach, contributed greatly to The Brunswick Centre’s successful regeneration both commercially and critically, including the receipt of a number of awards for regeneration and design in 2007.

‘Aquaduct’, 2003-6 encourages population of the central space and creates a ‘sense of place’ between the flights of flats on either side. The central line of the space, punctuated by large scale trees and cafe tables is marked by a series of stainless steel troughs channeling fast flowing water towards a large pool. These invented objects have the characteristics of something utilitarian, industrial, out-of-doors and man-made; they rest under their own weight, their surfaces unrefined. The steel is folded to reduce the need for welds making curves easy to lean over and a continuous structural ‘skin’ which gives it strength.

A rectangular pool is situated at the T-junction between Curzon Bloomsbury and the central space. The container for the pool is low enough to encourage people to sit together along the edges. The container is similarly angled and rests on the ground to trap the water in its frame.  Circular lights, set flush within the pool-base, are illuminated at night appearing to float beneath the surface whilst by day the water draws in the sky. ‘This is a choreographic work, enabling people to sit and walk about, introducing natural elements of flowing water and reflected light by day and at night’ – Susanna Heron.

Regeneration and Renewal Awards 2007: best Heritage-led Project.

HS Projects commissioned ‘Aquaduct’, 2003-6 on behalf of Allied London. ‘Aquaduct’ is located in The Bruswick Centre, Bloomsbury London.