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.
For ‘Granite Sculpture II’, Tim Harrisson responded to Michael Manser’s new terminal building for Southampton Airport, the geography of the South Downs, the ancient history of the area and the impression of take-off and landing.
‘I wanted to complement the fine horizontal structure of the new terminal building by the architect Michael Manser and so convey a visual impression of ascent and descent. My main aim was to capture the idea and physical experience of movement, reflecting the dynamic view of landscape both as we see its physical surface and its underlying geological structure. By selecting granite, this allowed me to tap into the hidden geological forms which shape and continue to slowly re-mould the landscape we live in and move through. The way a landscape ‘appears’ to change as we actually look at it, either from sea, land or air, is also echoed in the piece as one moves around it, or indeed from above a plane which is landing or taking off, each different viewpoint dramatically altering our viewpoint and visual perception of the work.’
We managed the commission process from concept through to completion. Working closely with our client, we established the opportunities and constraints of the commission, developed the artist’s brief and managed the artist selection process, design, fabrication, site preparation, installation and opening.
We commissioned ‘Granite Sculpture II’ in 1995 on behalf of Southampton Airport, Hampshire.
HS Projects presented a new series of sculptures and works on paper by Matt Calderwood, in direct response to the site at 5 Howick Place.
Matt Calderwood is well known for his modular works, made of interlocking elements that explore the potential of sculptural language and examine the properties and dynamics of different materials. Taking the dynamism of urban architecture as his starting point – the chevron shape is a familiar theme – Calderwood experiments with balance, tension and chance to produce site specific works that become a record of a specific place.
‘I have been thinking about adaptability and the potential for change in response to changing external factors. All the works I have chosen to install at Howick Place are essentially modular, and as such, have the potential to be expanded, contracted and reconfigured in response to their environment.’
‘Rubber (Pile)’, 2013-17 and ‘Untitled’, 2017 are configurations of elements that have previously been used as printing blocks in the studio and exhibited as components of earlier sculptures. The element of chance plays an important role in Calderwood’s process-based but also carefully choreographed practice. The components in ‘Rubber (Pile)’, 2013-17, previously shown at Baltic 39 in a loose and scattered manner, are here pulled together into a much more dense and energetic pile. In their current location they could be seen as something like a camp fire.
Component parts of ‘Untitled’, 2017 were previously used for his work ‘Strapped’, 2013, which was exhibited during Frieze Sculpture Park in Regents Park, physically strapped-up and leaning against a tree in the park. At Howick Place the components transform into a totallly new work, a modernist and abstract towering structure, still bearing the imprints and residues from the elements, after being exposed to the weather conditions of Regents Park.
This performative and experimental aspect of Calderwood’s work remains a constant throughout his practice. For his exhibitions ‘Paper Over the Cracks’ at Baltic 39 and ‘Exposure’ at the De La Warr Pavilion, he exposed a series of geometric structures, made from welded steel and clothed in white billboard paper, to the natural elements to fend for themselves. During the four months’ exposure to heavy wind, rain, strong sunlight and salty air on the outdoor roof terraces, a slow process of transformation took place. The paper weathered and faded, and the steel began to rust in patterns, a visual record of how the sculptures met the elements they were exposed to.
Opposite the lifts, ‘Composites’, 2017 is a new series of large-scale works on paper, hand printed directly from 3d sculptural elements, similar to the ones exhibited. Mounted onto shaped aluminium composite panels, they are made in response to the Howick Place site. Black designs on white paper formed from chevron blocks, reminiscent of fonts and arranged according to chance, appear as contact prints of the sculptures, their different shades add dimension and depth. Different configurations of the ‘Composites’ will be explored during the course of the exhibition.
‘Composites’ was at 5 Howick Place from June to December 2017.