Grandioso was a commissioned Artwork undertaken for the Howard de Walden Estates for a contemporary new building in the heart of The West End of London. The objective was to reinterpret the notion of a grand gate or entrance; the gates embodiment was not solely to be of pure rational function, it was the provision of a modern reinterpretation of an antiquated technique that has historical gravitas.
The essence for the door derived from the antiquated stonemasonry technique of rusticated – vermiculated- ashlar. The stone technique can be seen to have a strong visual prominence along the gates residing place of 77 Wimpole Street, London. The visual presence of this technique on the lower ground floor façades of Wimpole Street has a repetitive rhythm that one felt was fitting to pay homage to, as with the context in mind that 77 Wimpole Street was to be the first new façade along the street for nearly 100 years, as many listed buildings occupy this conservation area of special architectural and historic interest.
Rusticated – Vermiculated- Ashlar can be found to have its origins in renaissance architecture. The purpose of the technique was to give a visual grounding to prominent buildings on their lower floors. This was often juxtaposed with smooth finished masonry of the upper floors. The stonework can be seen to take on a narrative between a disguised primitive rock-like appearance, versus the civilized, smooth architectural façades on the upper floors.
Drawing upon this historical and cultural narrative that can be found in this most unassuming technique, was fundamental to the gates manifestation, solely not just to function as a means to allow access and security, it was to offer a grand foundation to the building that pays homage to the layers of antiquity that civilization’s have given to this most unassuming technique.
The base for conceptualisation was to extract sections of the masonry into two-dimensional studies; the studies were then post – formed into a series of extruded three – dimensional forms, which gives a modern perspective to this antiquated technique. Sections were digitally machined forming 1100 individual columns that were in turn cast in aluminum, using the traditional technique of sand casting. Two varying finish’s were applied, a mirror polish pays reference to super smoothness of modernity verses the roughness of antiquation. The technique of rustication could be perceived as creating a presence of irregularity, however one has approached this to create a meticulous and precise kind of irregularity.
The resulting manifestation of the piece is that this functional object has been elevated to give a new contextualisation of an antiquated technique that is steeped in tradition of grandeur and opulence.
‘A futurist – rustication is the incarnation’.
Dimensions: 1800 x 2820 x 300 mm
Material: Aluminium & Stainless Steel