66 Wigmore street
Quadrilinear is a permanent sculpture at 66 Wigmore street, London. The commission was for a great and long-standing commissioner and patron for the Howard de Walden Estates.
The brief given to Artist & Sculptor, Lee Simmons was to create a prominent piece of Art that would capture the public’s attention and imagination, as the site is an important corner site, situated both on the Howard de Walden Estate and in the wider context of London’s West End, as large parts of the surrounding context sit within the conservation area of Westminster.
The Art was to act as a new beacon and gateway to a beautiful historic road of Marylebone Lane and the Estate. Looking back at the local typographical context, though historical studies in the form of ancient maps, was the starting concept for the piece that also felt fitting, given how the urban sprawl has changed in such a dramatic and interesting way over the last 400 years.
The concept for the project at 66 Wigmore Street was born out of questioning the historic conventions of how art and architecture can exist in the built environment, in a symbiotic way that builds upon this ancient relationship. The collaboration between Architecture and Art was discussed at great lengths with Iain Wadham Director of ESA Architects and the commissioner Andrew Wilson, Planning director for Howard de Walden Estates.
ESA Architects offered up an architectural canvas and envelope that the artist felt allowed both the sculpture to be framed by the façade in the opening of the atrium that grounds the piece initially within the context and rhythm and fabric of the façade, however Lee put down the idea that the sculpture could also have a life outside the confines of the architectural canvas of the given atrium space, visualising that it also had the possibility to be open to the elements. Lee saw his rational, there has always been a prominence of corners to corner buildings within the local context that accentuated height and historically the corner of buildings have always had significance, as the cornerstones of several buildings make references to religions and civilization being laid as ceremonial and sacred stones.
The rational for breaking outside the confines of the architectural canvas felt justified and formed part of a detailed study by Lee that was submitted to Westminster planning. The concept was granted permissions and given the support and backing to commence.
Quadrilinear is a large-scale civic installation which reflects the local topography of Marylebone from the last 400 years in a linear collaged map in the context of five curved and overlapping layers of stainless steel. The delicate structure is 15 metres tall and spans four storeys of the façade.
The sculpture required very early engagement with a specialist fabricator as to how the sculpture could be constructed. Littlehampton Welding were brought on board by Lee as he had built up a proven deliverable track record of delivering high profile and challenging works of public Art such as ‘The Great War Memorial’ in Victoria, London. Littlehampton Welding brought on board Format Engineers who assisted in taking the initial design and turning it in to Lee’s visions, through using exceptionally clever digital engineering programmes to reduce the structure and connections to a minimum, staying true to Lee’s vision.
Watch Quadrilinear: The Journey here
To see more of Lee Simmons work visit www.leesimmons.com