Thursday, 30 December 2010

Big Jelly Babies

They may look sweet but just don't bite it! In case you saw this around central London your eyes weren't deceiving you. The Italian pop artist, Mauro Perucchetti, has an installation of a Jelly Baby Family sculptures at Marble Arch with some figures at almost 3m in height. 

These help me with a sense of scale as I'll be implementing something similar, but related to Carnival and costumes, for my 'educational' theme for Jubilee Gardens. Being translucent and colorful they also make a good night installation with the right lighting.

Friday, 24 December 2010

Potters Fields Park-9/11 Memorial

What an uncanny timing for this to come up this week in the news just after my recent interest and visit to Potters Fields Park. This is another common element with regard to memorials and Jubilee Gardens. Also, it  represents a 'visual symbol for peace and tolerance...which also looks to the future' along with being used in an educational sense (which is my chosen focus area).

London will commemorate the 10th anniversary of 9/11 by erecting steel girders from the wreckage of the World Trade Center. Sections of the ruined skyscrapers will be transformed into a permanent tribute on Potters Fields Park, beside City Hall, to honour the attack’s 2,977 victims. The girders have been given by the Port Authority of New York which is sending others to cities around the world for similar projects. The idea is the work of the 9/11 London Project Foundation, a charity which will also launch a major educational programme in September to teach schoolchildren about the terrorist attack. The programme is being drawn up by Professor Geoff Whitty, director of the Institute of Education.

Tuesday, 21 December 2010

Potters Fields Park photos

As promised, here are some photos of Potters Fields Park to accompany my earlier post. The weather last week was awful and it was near dusk so many of my photos were poor. They just didn't do justice to the place. I've included some photos that I found online along with some of mine to convey the Park properly. The similarities to Jubilee Gardens are so clear...(see earlier post - buildings, tourist attractions, footfall, expanse, nearby car park, etc).

View from avenue walkway towards City Hall

City Hall building in background

View showing multi use of paving to provide enclosure and seating

View towards Tower Bridge with an event taking place in SE corner

Paving detail with trees framing City Hall

View across turf with popular tourist attraction, Tower Bridge, in the background

Tuesday, 14 December 2010

Potters Fields Park

Jamie (our lecturer) recommended that we visit this park next to the City Hall building near Tower Bridge in London. In 2007, the site was redesigned by landscape architects Gross Max with a herbaceous garden by Piet Oudolf. This was all part of regeneration throughout the borough by Southwark Council. 

It was an interesting piece of public space at a riverside location and has quite a few similarities to Jubilee Gardens. Namely, there was significant footfall throughout the site as people pass through it; situated on the south bank of the River Thames; has sweeping vistas of the River; located very close to iconic tourist attractions such as the Tower Bridge and the Tower of London; situated near to commercial buildings such as the 'Gherkin'; and had a similar history with its wharf background. There's even an adjacent car park. In size I guess if you were to join the 2 pieces together it will still be a little smaller in area than Jubilee Gardens.

All of this is very similar to Jubilee Gardens with its views of Big Ben and Houses of Parliament, proximity to the London Eye, County Hall and the Shell Center. It appears linear in its design with a wide path running almost parallel to the River's bank completing a triangular shape of the path. It is high on connectivity between the City Hall, London Bridge and a sinuous path connects you to Tooley Street. What I found really intriguing in the design was the integration of seating along the paths allowing for rest stops, relaxing and captivating views. I paid particular attention to this and imagined what it would be like in summer with very high usage.

It was also a good example in observing how a regenerated public realm development scheme worked with a  riverside location. At a more pleasant time of the year I would have spent a lot more time 'surveying' the scene. I'll post some pics in my next blog.

Thursday, 9 December 2010

Terrariums - Miniature Models

This reminds me of when we make scale models for our coursework. Once photographs are taken it really removes the scale of it and can be 'pictured' in the real sense. Terrariums (tiny gardens grown in glass containers) were popular back in the 1970's and they seem to be making a comeback in the US. See website

This might give some inspiration for your next model making exercise! 

Monday, 6 December 2010

Enchanted Parks - Tyne and Wear

To those up north or to those that can travel to the Newcastle/Gateshead area there is a cool event happening in December that might interest you. Saltwell Park seems like the place to be between Dec 8-12 if you can get past the snow.

'Under the cover of darkness, 11 artists are taking over Gateshead's biggest park for 1 week only, installing weird and wonderful creations for five nights. From light installations to atmospheric performances and shows...'

Might give you some cool ideas for the use of our sites - think 24hrs/365 days of the year!

Wednesday, 1 December 2010

Horizontal Plane

Architecture has largely shaped the topography of the site but with the site stripped to bare 'skin & bones' in these photos I noticed that with the land being flat (under 6-7m in height) that it could be deemed as 1 horizontal plane. Simple enough, but here is where the cool part comes in - that horizontal plane is then split into 2 by the River Thames creating the north bank and the south bank. Let's call it 'the power of the River'.