= The Crawford Arts Review: The art that is sculpture embraces the art that is architecture

Monday, 27 January 2020

The art that is sculpture embraces the art that is architecture

The result, I think, is a triumphant win-win for both.

The sculpture (the picture on the left shows only a small part of it) is the work of Spanish installation artist and sculptor Cristina Iglesias and it has just won her the Royal Academy of Arts 2020 architecture prize.  

The prize is awarded for urban sculptures in public spaces (in other words, the spaces between buildings). By this process it is hoped the life and work of two sets of people are enriched: the people who work in the buildings and the people who pass by in the normal course of their day, taking a fresh air break, having lunch, shopping, or catching a moment of relaxation.

The multiple sections of the specially commissioned sculpture are built of cast bronze, granite and, of course, water. They surround the Bloomberg Building and are in fact integral to the building's roof drainage system. So here Ms Iglesias displays not only architectural but engineering skills. Gravitational force and the gradient of bronze the sculptor has built in to the work mimic the fluid dynamics of a rushing stream so that you can almost imagine this is the local Walbrook stream (now underground) you are looking at. Lower level granite walkways have also been installed so that on sunny days you might imagine sitting on the banks of the stream watching as the sparkling water makes its way down the ancient river valley to enter the Thames.     

Note: The Bloomberg Building, the company's European Headquarters and itself a winner of RIBA's Stirling Prize, was designed by Lord Norman Foster of Foster and Partners and sits in a 3.2-acre site between St Paul's and the Bank of England.

Cristina Iglesias Forgotten Streams
The Bloomberg Building
3 Queen Victoria Street
London EC4 

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