peter newman’s sculpture in london encourages contemplation of the sky

peter newman’s skystation installed in london

British artist Peter Newman recently installed an interactive room sculpture named Skystation in London’s bustling Canary Wharf. Inspired by Le Corbusier’s modernist LC4 lounge chair, Skystation is a futuristic interpretation in cast aluminum-bronze, with a circular shape that allows the sculpture to double as a bench can accommodate up to 12 people at a time. An object to observe and use, its contours, modeled on the human body, encourage you to stop, lie down and contemplate the sky in a moment of reflection. The sculpture encourages conversation, contemplation of the sky above and enjoyment of the architecture of Canary Wharf that frames it.

the Skystation can accommodate 12 people

all images courtesy of Paul Newman

form follows function in this interactive sculpture

Designed to be as simple as possible, Peter Newman’s sculpture is inspired by the modernist concept: form follows function. The shape is inspired by the iconic LC4 lounge chair designed by Le Corbusier, Charlotte Pierriand and Pierre Jeanneret. Like the famous 20th century modernist piece of furniture, the contours of the british designer the works are designed to fit the elongated human form. Although Newman sets out to create a more “collaborative” interpretation of the singular lounge chair, rotating the sculpture 360 ​​degrees to encourage conversation and shared contemplation. The result is an interactive public piece of furniture that can be used by multiple people at once, taking on a futuristic spaceship shape that is further enhanced by the materiality of the sculpture.

This is the newest addition to Peter Newman’s ongoing Skystation series which sees the sculptures installed in various locations across the UK. The new sculpture, commissioned by the Canary Wharf group, is in Adams Plaza, between Foster + Partners’ new Elizabeth Line station and the Cesar Pelli skyscraper, One Canada Square. It is the first of the series to be cast in aluminum bronze – a material typically used for marine propellers, aircraft landing gear and in naval architecture. The golden color of the bronze introduces a warm tone among the cold steel that characterizes the bustling area of ​​London that houses the sculpture and reinforces the futuristic aspect of the sculpture.

peter newman's skystation sculpture in london encourages contemplation of the sky
a space for conversation and contemplation | photo by David Hares

a cerebral experiment encourages contemplation of the sky

Skystation creates an opportunity for pause, reflection and interaction in the public realm. “The seat it provides is similar to what NASA calls neutral body posture, which is the shape the body returns to when free from the influence of gravity”says Newman. “Looking up is inherently optimistic, and something akin to thinking ahead. Cognitive research suggests that we do our best to think while lying down.” An object both observed and used, Skystation’s shape encourages people to relax and recline, bringing the heads of its users closer and having the side effect of making conversation between strangers almost inevitable.

peter newman's skystation sculpture in london encourages contemplation of the sky
Skystation at Canary Wharf

skystation 2
it is located between the new Elizabeth Line station by Foster + Partners and the Cesar Pelli monument, One Canada Square

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