British architect John Pawson is behind a new experiential work called 'Perspectives', which will be on view soon at St Paul’s Cathedral in London; an installation which is set to be one of the LDF's key events this year, and also marks the 300th anniversary of the cathedral's completion.
Pawson has collaborated with Swarovski Crystal Palace to create the spectacular installation in the Geometric Staircase of St Paul’s Cathedral - revealing a new perspective on the iconic architectural masterpiece and the genius of Sir Christopher Wren.
Perspectives will be open to the public during the London Design Festival, which kicks off on the 17th of September and will remain on view until January 2012.
Reflecting Wren’s desire that his buildings should incorporate scientific elements, ‘Perspectives’ uses the largest Swarovski lens ever manufactured to create a dramatic optical experience which depends on scientific subtlety, material simplicity and a complex combination of light, space and proportion to reflect an environment rich in history and beauty.
At the foot of Wren’s elegant spiralling Geometric Staircase a concave Swarovski crystal meniscus will sit on a much larger reflective hemisphere, with a spherical convex mirror suspended 23m above in the tower’s cupola.
Together, these optical elements will create an extraordinary composite image of the view up through the tower for visitors gathered round the hemisphere at the base, allowing them, as Pawson says, “to see beyond the level of the naked eye” and gain a perspective never before seen of one of Britain’s most iconic buildings.
John Pawson explains:
“St Paul’s is one of the most recognisable buildings in the country. Inevitably it’s the grand architectural moves which everyone knows – the west elevation, the nave and the dome. In collaboration with Swarovski, I have been given the chance to turn the focus on a less familiar element – the Geometric Staircase – which is a detail, but also a complete architectural moment in its own right.
The cathedral is an immensely complex work of architecture and the temptation when you visit is to try to take in everything. This is about offering a spatial experience based around a single, sharply honed perspective. The form this experience takes is shaped by Wren’s own interest in creating scientific instruments out of buildings.”
Photography Gilbert McCarragher.