Legal & General Property and Mitsubishi Estate Company celebrated the practical completion this week of its 500,000 ft² (approx. 46,300 m²) Central Saint Giles Development in the heart of London's West End by unveiling two new exciting pieces of public art.
The scheme consists of around 400,000 ft² of office space, 56 private apartments 53 affordable homes and up to 10 new restaurants, most situated around a newly created piazza. The development has impeccable green credentials having achieved a BREEAM "Excellent" rating for its offices. This is an impressive achievement as the office element boasts some of the largest floorplates (43,000 ft²) in London's West End.
The two pieces of modern sculpture were created by former Goldsmiths College students American Steven Gontarski and British born, 2006 Turner Prize-nominee Rebecca Warren.
The Gontarski piece is a persimmon-coloured abstract sculpture made of painted and lacquered glass-fibre-reinforced plastic that rises from the ground to a height of five meters. The form conjures comparisons to clouds, organs, smoke rings. It allows for constant transformation as people walk past and around it, appearing from some angles solid and monolithic and from others floating and ethereal. Sunlight will create striking shadow patterns that will change throughout the day. Gontarski said his intention was to "create a heart in the midst of an urban development."
Rebecca Warren has crafted a three-metres bronze figure. A work that speaks of the always shifting present, a non-gender-specific figure whose form emphasises movement in a way that reflects the constant motion of passing through a busy urban space. Describing the Central Saint Giles commission Warren said: "It is rare and special to have the possibility of creating a gestural public sculpture that seeks to question the very nature of public sculpture while being one itself."
Simon Wilkes, Legal & General development director said: "The provision of these important new works of modern art, Renzo Piano's striking architecture and the creation of a new dining destination centred around a new piazza are all part of our efforts to bring heart and to soul to and re-invigorate an under-appreciated area of central London."
Source: Brown Lloyd James Financial