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Central Saint Giles, London, United Kingdom 
Wednesday 12 May 2010
 
Renzo completes colourful London project 
 
Maurits van der Staay 
 
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Office completion marked by unveiling of two new public artworks at Central Saint Giles 

Legal & General Property and Mitsubishi Estate Company celebrated the practical completion of its 500,000 sq ft Central Saint Giles Development in the heart of London’s West End by unveiling two new pieces of public art.

Central Saint Giles is a mixed-use sustainable office-led development designed by world renowned architect Renzo Piano. The striking landmark building is clad with ceramic tiles in bold shades of yellow, orange, green and red. Central Saint Giles is Piano’s first completed building in the UK.

The scheme consists of around 400,000 sq ft of office space, 56 private apartments, 53 affordable homes and 10 new restaurants, most situated around a newly created piazza. The development has gained impressive green credentials after achieving a BREEAM “Excellent” rating for its offices.

The two pieces of modern sculpture were created by former Goldsmiths College students American Steven Gontarski and British born, 2006 Turner Prize-nominee Rebecca Warren.

The Gontarski piece is a persimmon-coloured abstract sculpture made of painted and lacquered glass-fibre-reinforced plastic that rises from the ground to a height of 5m. The form is said to allow for constant transformation as people walk past and around it, appearing from some angles solid and monolithic and from others floating and ethereal. Gontarski said his intention was to “create a heart in the midst of an urban development.”

Rebecca Warren has crafted a 3m bronze figure, also unveiled this week at Central Saint Giles. Her work consists of a non-gender-specific figure whose form is designed to emphasis movement in a way that reflects the constant motion of passing through a busy urban space. Describing the Central Saint Giles commission, Warren said: “It is rare and special to have the possibility of creating a gestural public sculpture that seeks to question the very nature of public sculpture while being one itself.”

Simon Wilkes, Legal & General development director said: “The provision of these important new works of modern art, Renzo Piano’s striking architecture and the creation of a new dining destination centred around a new piazza are all part of our efforts to bring heart and to soul to and re-invigorate an under-appreciated area of central London.”

Fletcher Priest were the executive architects on this project. To find out more information about the firm and their involvement, click here.

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Renzo Piano Building Workshop
www.rpbw.com

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