Blackpole Retail Park
Worcester, England
105m40 L x 6m30 H / 345'-10" L x 20'-9" H

A painted steel structure situated at one side of the parking area, it separates the retail park from an adjoining property.
It is the longest sculpture in England.

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The higher section of the sculpture matches the height of the adjacent building; it reflects another building across the parking area to enclose the central plaza. The sculpture is painted blue at the high end (to maintain continuity with blue panels on the building), continues with a green-blue, blue-green and ends with a green near the road. By overlapping elements of these different colours, a transitional gradation of colour is achieved.

The planning program designated an Art Barrier. The design program was to create a site-specific work of intrinsic aesthetic value that treated the artwork as a fence -- and as such demanded very careful attention to the scale of its components. After experimenting with different shapes, the chevron form seemed most interesting for adapting to the requirements of scale and to the principle of variations on a theme -- this is, after all, Elgar country.

The elements are arranged in two vertical layers 300 mm apart. Chevrons are joined with purlins that run through the whole work -- an important structural melody line.

Each element is made of perforated sheet and/or steel grating. The super-imposition of two sheets or gratings creates infraction patterns. Passing in front of the sculpture, moirés or flower images appear to move with the movements of the viewer. The "transparency" of each element varies with its angle to the line of sight.

The innumerable variations based on solid, semi-transparent and negative forms, on viewpoint and on distance elicit repeated interest and attention -- provide an exciting backdrop to the activities of the retail park.

The sculpture was fabricated by a metal construction firm following detailed working drawings provided for each of the 167 elements, the purlins, footings, sub-assemblies, etc.

Material: painted steel
perforated steel sheet-2mm (3/32")
steel grating-3 x 35-30mm o.c. (1/8" x 1-3/8"-1 3/16" o.c.); flats-10 x 50 (3/8"x 2") and 12 x 300 (1/2"x12")